Get Your Partner's Side Free With MySide, In Store, Ends Sunday! Find your local store

Delivering to   

How does sleep improve mental health?

28th March 2024 • 2 min read

When the stresses of life take over, sleep is the solution.

We all lead busy lives, and it’s easy to let the little things slide. Factoring in time for hobbies and loved ones – whilst maintaining a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise and keeping a consistent sleep schedule – can be difficult. But all these things are essential for supporting our mental health and wellbeing. 

When it comes to mental health, Australia is not immune to the challenges many people across the globe are facing. In fact, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than 40 per cent of Australians aged 16-85 will experience a mental disorder at some point in their lives. 

It’s not all bad news, though: a report by Mental Health Australia found a higher percentage of us felt happier, more connected, and able to ask for help if needed in 2023 than in 2022. 

If you’re looking to improve your wellbeing or achieve a more effective work-life balance, getting enough sleep should be high on your priority list. Here, we look at how quality sleep is a key part of your toolkit for tackling stress and burnout, and the role it can play in transforming your mood from prickly to placid.

How does sleep improve mental health?

According to Australia’s Sleep Health Foundation, sleep is closely tied to mental health and wellbeing. Getting enough sleep can help you:

  • Feel rested and alert – when we get a good night’s sleep, we wake up with renewed energy, ready to manage the challenges of the day ahead.

  • Manage stress – a well-rested mind is better equipped to cope with the pressures of daily life. Sleep helps to regulate stress hormones, allowing us to navigate high-pressure situations (like super-tight deadlines or a troublesome two-year-old) with greater ease.

  • Concentrate – research suggests that people whose minds are regularly refreshed by a solid night of sleep are better able to focus and tune out distractions.

  • Remember things – quality sleep plays a crucial role in consolidating memories, helping to support learning, creativity and problem solving.

  • Improve your brain health – studies have shown that getting enough sleep is linked with better brain health and functioning, as well as a reduced risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia. 

It’s not just adults, either. Quality sleep is essential for the mental health of kids and teens. One Australian study looked at the sleeping patterns of over 10,000 children aged nine to 11 years over a period over two years, and found that “when adolescents’ sleep problems improved, so too did their mental health”. 

Young adults, too, can benefit from a consistent sleep schedule. A study of Australian university students found that good sleep quality was linked with higher levels of healthy behaviours (like physical activity and eating fruit) and lower levels of stress and depression. 

For people with pre-existing mental health conditions, sleep can also help with managing symptoms. Quality sleep has been shown to have a positive effect in people with anxiety and depression.

What about mood?

It’s no secret that you’re more likely to wake up chirpy and cheerful after a good night’s rest. Conversely, not getting enough sleep will probably leave you feeling grumpy and irritable the next day. It isn’t just in your head – research shows that sleep can influence your mood on a day-to-day basis. 

Sleep can also help you manage your emotions. Think about the last time you didn’t get enough shut-eye. You probably felt stressed or agitated the next day and were more likely to overreact to minor inconveniences. Experts believe that adequate sleep supports better emotional regulation, helping you navigate everyday life with more patience and an even temper. 

Put simply, sleep makes you feel good – improving your overall sense of wellbeing and ability to bounce back from challenges. So if you want to prioritise your mental health, getting enough sleep is a no-brainer.

Ready to get a better night’s sleep? Explore the Forty Winks product range here.

MORE ARTICLESYou might also be interested in