Usually considered a leisure activity, sleep actually has an important role to play in helping one lead a healthy life. The number of hours of sleep needed every day by an individual varies with different age groups, as has been suggested by experts. In general, lack of proper sleep causes irritation and agitation, which further affects physical health and cognitive abilities. In fact, studies have also identified sleep deprivation, especially in younger children, to be one of the main causes of bad mental health in adulthood.
Various studies suggest that while sleep deprivation in young children can lead to internalizing behavioral problems, such as fear and anxiety, along with some physical complaints, there is also a connection between sleep disorders and expressing problems, such as ADHD and a few other mental health issues.
Although researchers have stated that the directionality of the association between sleep problems during childhood and developing behavioral problems later in life has not been understood properly, they have stressed the fact that if a proper understanding was developed, it would provide some really valuable information. This would pave the path for a proper focus on finding ways to improve the child’s sleep pattern and behavior. They further suggested that if there was indeed an association between the two, then it would be beneficial to manage the problems during childhood to reduce the chance of mental health issues developing later in life.
Despite the complex association between mental health and sleep, the findings have to lead to a developmental pathway, and it is essential that both are routinely assessed and managed in clinical practice.
Several studies identify that lack of sleep is a major cause leading to mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. On the other hand, studies have also indicated that a few extra hours of sleep can have an equivalent effect as that of antidepressants or anti-anxiety pills. Studies also suggest that getting the correct amount of sleep goes a long way in alleviating the symptoms of trauma and helps in eliminating the haunting flashbacks and memories. Sleeping during the first 24 hours after experiencing trauma can help in processing the distressing memories more effectively.
Further, ensuring a timely sleeping pattern also helps in relaxing the mind and enabling the body to perform its mechanisms properly. It protects from mental disorders like anxiety, stress, and depression and keeps the individual physically and mentally fresh. Sleep is vital to health, especially for children as they are in a developing stage. It is during this stage that their behaviors, memory, and social skills mature significantly. Sleep deprivation can potentially lead to improper growth and development.
If you are concerned about your child suffering from some mental health issues or sleep-related problems, you must seek immediate medical help from a licensed medical practitioner. You can contact the mental health helpline for information about the best mental health treatment centers near you. You can call and talk to the experts to learn about the appropriate mental health treatment according to your needs.
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