When it comes to sleep and mental health, this Ben Franklin quote comes to mind:
Early to bed, early to rise makes a person healthy, wealthy, and wise."
Mr. Franklin said this in the days when modern psychology didn't exist; Sigmund Freud hadn't been born, nor had the American Psychological Association. Yet Ben still knew and promoted the value of a good night's sleep (develop good sleep habits). As it turns out, his adage about the importance of sleep to wellbeing is true and has been proven by modern science.
Sleep plays a vital role in mental health. Adults need about seven to nine hours of sleep each night. When someone's average is less than that, problems begin to occur. Emotional regulation becomes difficult, cognitive functioning diminishes (that "foggy," slowed-down feeling and difficulty completing tasks), memory becomes impaired, and behavior changes. Harvard Medical School warns that there's a strong connection between:
- sleep problems and anxiety
- sleep disorders and depression
- bipolar disorder and sleep problems
- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and sleep disorders
Sleep and mental health are intricately related, and each affects the other. That can make brain-soothing sleep elusive; however, eating well, exercising, using relaxation techniques, and other sleep hygiene practices can help you get those z's and achieve the health, wealth, and wisdom old Ben touted.