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Feeling grumpy? You might need more sleep

Feeling grumpy? You might need more sleep

Are your sleeping habits impacting your mood? Read on to learn how a good night’s sleep can make you feel healthier and happier.

Lifestyle insight

How are sleep and mood linked?

Sleep is as important for mental health as it is for physical health, and most of us know the signs of a poor night’s sleep: tired, grumpy and irritable.

But there’s a two-way link between sleep and your health. Poor sleep can contribute to mood-related health conditions like stress and anxiety, while those same health conditions can make it harder to get a good night’s sleep. In other words, sleep can affect your mood, and your mood can affect your sleep.

Getting on top of any potential sleep problems is a great way to avoid mood symptoms and wake up feeling refreshed and positive.

How does a lack of sleep affect my mood?

A poor night’s sleep, usually five hours or less, can lead to:

  • Sleepiness
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Lack of motivation

Not getting enough sleep is mentally exhausting and can take a toll on your personal life. People who don’t get enough sleep can become sadder, angrier and more stressed.

For a good night’s sleep, we should be getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night. That’s because our bodies need this time to refresh and repair.

A good night’s sleep won’t just help improve your mood – it’s also associated with a range of positive health benefits, like:

  • Getting sick less often
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Reducing your risk of certain diseases and conditions
  • Thinking clearly, so you can be more productive at work
  • Feeling more positive, so you get along better with others

Why can’t I sleep?

In today’s busy society, getting eight hours of sleep can be challenging. We’re surrounded by distractions – online and offline. Our sleeping habits can be impacted by a range of factors that can make it difficult to wind down and fall asleep:

  • Phones, especially the constant cycle of texting and checking social media
  • Changing time zones
  • Shift work
  • Feeling unwell
  • Sleep disorders, or poor sleeping habits

How can I sleep better?

Promoting healthy sleep habits can help you feel better and reduce your risk of sleep-related health concerns. 

Here’s how to get a good night’s sleep:

  • Set a routine for yourself, try going to bed at the same time each night
  • Avoid using your phone or watching television before bedtime
  • Avoid caffeine in the afternoon
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet and drink plenty of water
  • Exercise regularly
  • Block out any noise using earplugs

Also, make your room conducive to a good night’s sleep. Calming music, dark curtains and a weighted blanket may also help you to sleep better.

These tips seem basic but can be difficult to put into practice if your schedule of work or other commitments constantly change. It’s best to try a few of these tips at a time to make it more manageable to get used to new habits.

If you still have trouble getting to sleep and find that it is impacting your mood, it is important to speak to your healthcare professional. There are many ways they can help address your sleep problems, including lifestyle changes, medication or by diagnosing an underlying sleep disorder.

References available upon request. 

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