It’s natural to have a few days of feeling down or feeling blah. This is especially true in the winter months when the nights are longer, the days are shorter, and the “winter blues” are much easier to catch.
But have you found that you’ve been more anxious, lethargic, or depressed than normal? It may be trickling into other aspects of your everyday routine, including your sleep schedule.
Mood disorders and sleeping conditions have long been linked as common problems, as it’s not unusual for one to affect the other. For example, people who have obstructive sleep apnea are much more likely to have an anxiety disorder or depression. Meanwhile, a person who has been diagnosed with depression likely has a harder time sleeping.
So how do you know if your mood is affecting the quality of your sleep? It starts by looking for these signs that a bout of irritability, anxiety, or generalized winter blues is affecting your slumber.
When you lie down and shut your eyes, do your thoughts drift off to nothingness? Or do they start to rev up with a loop of the cares of the day?
Dwelling on a negative feeling or incident in the moments before bedtime is a clear sign that your brain is having trouble “shutting down” for the night. And this will affect the quality of your sleep.
This internal chatter and anxiety could easily turn into not being able to stay asleep. Or you might be waking up throughout the night due to stress and worry. In fact, people with anxiety and depression are far more likely to sleep less than six hours per night than folks without a mood disorder.
Have you have logged in ample sleep time, but still feel tired? Your mood is affecting your sleep. You may still drag throughout the day, feeling fatigued from the moment you first wake up.
This is because people with mood disorders of all varieties naturally have fragmented sleeping patterns, or inconsistent bedtimes and wake-up times. This in turn leads to a jet lag-like feeling in the daytime.
Remember, too, that daytime sleepiness when you have had ample sleep is also a key symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. This is a disorder that can also have a huge impact on your mood and ability to sleep well.
If you are stressed out during the day, chances are these worries will pop up in your sleep. Everyone has the occasional nightmare from time to time, but if your bad dreams are becoming more frequent or jarring, it could be an indicator that your mood is taking control.
Your overall outlook has a lot to do with your health. From your energy levels, to your performance at work, to your physical functions, a bad mood or a genuine mood disorder can affect your life across the board.
So seek help if you think your mood is affecting your sleep quality. Always be on the lookout for sleeping disorders like obstructive sleep apnea which can easily make your mood and outlook worse. With a little attention and a couple of proactive steps if you suspect an issue, you can rest easy all winter long.
If you or a loved one experience a groggy feeling each day, it could be sleep apnea. Contact us to see how we can help get you back to sleeping well and feeling great.