Statistics say that almost every person in the world, at some point in their life, experiences…

the act of…

sleeping.

It is something that might seem very common and simple. After all, we spend one-third of our life doing it. In reality, sleep is very complex. We are still not very sure why we need sleep. We know what goes on in our bodies when we sleep, but that goes on even when we are awake. Sleep also finds a lot of mention in various schools of psychological thought. The thoughts go from the state we are in when asleep to what dreams are and how they can be interpreted.

Your thoughts must have gone to the Sigmund Freud book and that brings me to the point.

Sleep & Mental Health.

Sleep plays a very definitive role in our daily life. A disturbed slumber, and the whole day is spent from cup to cup basis having caffeine. Sleep too long or too little and everything seems to be going gingerly. It actually has an effect on our mental health as well.

A study found that the mental health status of people who had slept less than 7 hours or more than 9 hours was lower than those who slept between 7-9 hours. Lack of sleep or erratic sleep also correlates with reporting depression and anxiety traits.

My Experiences.

Normally, normal sleep is considered as one of the casualty of depression rather than a symptom. I distinctly remember that when my depression was taking its roots, a peaceful sleep was one of the first things affected. I would lay to sleep and then be overwhelmed by my thoughts. The thoughts of failure, disappointment, and gloom would take over. My eyes would be closed but the mind would be relaying all the images. It was a scary and horrible experience. I know that people face this in daily life as well, but it wasn’t at the normal level in those days. War in the old days was paused at night; in my mind on the other hand, nighttime is when the war began.

Slowly, the sleeping time was overtaken by nightmares and in no time, I was afraid of going to sleep. I would delay my time to bed for hours. A time came when I went to sleep when my parents woke up. I passed the time watching movies or reading novels but the fear of sleep hardly ever went away.

But,

It is not all doom and gloom here.

Last year, about sometime in June, I managed to sleep without a pill for the first time. There were no nightmares or uncontrollable thoughts. For the first time in nearly 2 years, I lay to rest with no qualms. Slowly, a day became a week and then a month. In a few months it will be a year. I accept that it isn’t a streak exactly. There were a few days when I had to take the sedative but they were few and far between.

So, I would say that sleep does have a role in our mental health. It acts as an indicator of where our mind is. Sleep is still an enigma for many researchers across the world.

People are trying to crack the enigma everywhere in the world. I learned to work with it.

Take that Alan Turing.