There's a certain irony in the fact that I can't remember the last time I got a full night's sleep, and yet here I am writing about the mental health benefits of getting one. If you're also a new parent or a parent of young kids, you might want to take your shoe off and throw it at the computer while I wax poetic about the mental health benefits of a full night's sleep. But take heart, you will one day be able to reap those benefits again.
From warding off ADHD behaviors in children and adolescents to preventing depression, the importance of a full night's sleep on your mental health can't be understated. In an interview with Romper, Dr. Dawn Dore-Stites, Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Sleep Disorder Center at Michigan Medicine and Reverie Sleep Advisory Board Member says, "We know that sleep plays important roles in memory formation and learning. And we are starting to understand that sleep may also have impacts on inflammatory responses that is associated with a host of medical and mental health concerns."
While Dr. Dore-Stites reveals to us that scientists are still uncovering sleep's full power over us, she explains, "we are confident that sleep problems and other problems (medical, behavioral, mental health) go hand-in-hand and that prioritizing sleep is just as important as prioritizing exercise and good nutrition." And that, my friends, is full justification for hiring a babysitter so you can take a nap, if you were looking for one!
Here are some specific mental health benefits you'll be achieving when you get a full night's sleep.