Sleep Deprivation due to Mental Health Problems can Sap Much-Needed Energy

Stress and mental health issues often disrupt sleep patterns. Lack of sleep not only makes you tired, but it also influences poor food choices, causing an even greater energy crisis.

A report published in Nutrition Research shows strong ties between sleep habits and eating habits and indicates that unhealthy eating patterns negatively affect energy levels.

Seeking a Quick Fix

When you are short on sleep, it’s tempting to turn to food for a quick burst of energy. Unfortunately, the things people pick for a quick shot of energy are often high in sugar, refined carbohydrates and fats. These foods may provide a short-term jolt, but not the sustained energy necessary for getting through the day. Of course, such selections also contribute to weight gain.

Not only are sleep-deprived people more likely to choose fatty, sugary foods, but they are also less likely to select healthy items, such as vegetables. Plant-based foods are a low-calorie source of energy and also provide important vitamins and minerals for healthy living.

Snacking All Night

People who are not getting enough sleep often stay awake the majority of the night. In the night, it’s easy to grab junk food and graze on it. The more junk food you eat overnight, the less hungry you will be in the morning. As part of a vicious cycle, skipping breakfast then encourages all-day snacking and grazing.

Unhealthy snack foods are not a good source of energy. They do not help already-tired people make it through the day with vitality and mental agility. Additionally, overconsumption of junk food contributes to weight gain, obesity and other health problems.

Finding a Healthy Pattern

Getting enough sleep is the key to becoming a well-rested, fully energized person. Studies have shown that people who get enough sleep are more likely to:

  • Stick to a regular meal pattern.

  • Eat vegetables.

  • Avoid food cravings.

  • Keep servings to a proper portion size.

When you get enough sleep, you’ll be healthier, feel better and have more energy.

Adults typically need 7.5-9 hours of sleep each night. Although both stress and mental health problems can have a negative affect on sleep patterns, there are steps you can take to improve your sleep habits.

  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule, going to bed and waking at the same times each day.

  • Exercise regularly, but not just before bed.

  • Avoid taking naps. If they are a must, take them before mid-afternoon and keep them short.

  • Stay away from screens before bedtime.

  • Darken your bedroom, keep the temperature low and block out outside noises.

Additionally, just as sleep affects diet, so also, diet affects sleep. Go to bed neither hungry nor with an overly full stomach, and stay away from substances that interfere with your natural sleep patterns, such as alcohol and caffeine.

As you learn to both eat and sleep well, you’ll become a happier, healthier, more energized person.