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Why should you sleep at least 8 hours every night?

11 February 2020

A study conducted on the relationship between sleep deprivation and mental health has shown sleeping for less than the recommended eight hours per day increases the risk of depression, anxiety, and psychological disorders.

Sleep deprivation is associated with numerous mental problems

Sleep deprivation refers to either a complete lack of sleep during a certain period of time or a shorter-than-optimal sleep time. On the other hand, insomnia is defined as the difficulty in initiating or maintaining sleep accompanied by decreased daytime functioning. Sleep deprivation is one of the greatest causes of paranoia and nightmares as well. According to the study, insomnia is actually a contributory cause of mental health problems. Furthermore, people who suffer from insomnia have a ten-fold risk of developing depression compared to those who sleep well.

In addition, sleep disruptions are linked to constant negative thoughts. Research demonstrates that people with insufficient sleep have difficulty in shifting their attention away from negative thoughts and behaviour. The study reveals that sleep-deprived persons have negative thoughts stuck in their heads and their negative thinking prevents them from disengaging with the negative stimuli.

What is depression?

Depression is one of the most serious diseases that affect people in communities across the country. It is estimated to affect 350 million people worldwide. Depression is defined as a mental disorder or syndrome where there is a predominance of symptoms such as pathological sadness, irritability, feelings of guilt, low self-worth, loss of interest or pleasure, poor appetite and concentration, decreased energy and increased fatigue.

Sleep is a necessity

Sleep is a crucial component to maintain optimal physical and mental health. It recuperates the body and refreshes the mind.  There is also a popular argument that hormones released during sleep have a predominant anabolic function as opposed to hormones released when you are awake. More growth and restorative hormones occur during sleep.

How does sleep affect mental health?

The study’s findings show that inadequate sleep causes people to linger on their negative thoughts, thus interfering with their lives. The brain is not able to rest and function properly, which leads to mental fatigue and depression. It is therefore not surprising when we are constantly reminded that a good night’s sleep can make a difference to our psychological health.

Top 5 tips on dealing with insomnia

  1. If you can’t sleep and are wide awake, get up.  Sometimes lying in bed wide awake will only exacerbate the problem.  Get up and change your environment to return to bed later.
  2. Make a point to not eat big or spicy meals right before bed or late at night. Eating before bed or late at night can cause discomfort that can make it hard to sleep.
  3. Avoid naps, especially in the afternoon.
  4. Wind down. Your body needs time to get into sleep mode, so spend the last hour before bed doing a calming activity such as reading. If you have trouble sleeping, avoid electronics before bed as the particular type of light emanating from the screens of these devices activates the brain making it hard to fall asleep.
  5. Exercise. Exercising can help regulate your body and make you sleep better, but working out too close to bedtime can activate you and make it harder to settle into sleep.

For relief of insomnia, restlessness, nervousness, and stress, try Passiflora Composé. This homeopathic medicine is non-habit forming and is suitable for use by adults and children 1 year of age and older.


This homeopathic medicine may not be right for everyone. Always read and follow the label.