Good Sleep May Protect Against Anxiety Disorder

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Good Sleep May Protect Against Anxiety Disorder
Good Sleep May Protect Against Anxiety Disorder

Video: Good Sleep May Protect Against Anxiety Disorder

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Video: 3 Major Signs Insomnia Is Leading to an Anxiety Disorder 2023, January
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Good sleep may protect against anxiety disorder

Everyone knows that to feel good, you need to get a good night's sleep. Many studies have linked sleep deprivation to mental disorders, including anxiety. New scientific work proves for the first time a causal link between lack of sleep and anxiety. That is, anxiety is not just adjacent to insomnia, it is its direct consequence.

Good sleep may protect against anxiety disorder
Good sleep may protect against anxiety disorder

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Everyone knows that to feel good, you need to get a good night's sleep. Many studies have linked sleep deprivation to mental disorders, including anxiety. A new scientific paper published in Nature Human Behavior provides the first evidence of a causal link between sleep deprivation and anxiety. That is, anxiety is not just adjacent to insomnia, it is its direct consequence.

Brain scans helped scientists establish a causal relationship between sleep quality and anxiety levels the next day.

“We have identified a new function of deep sleep - reducing anxiety by reorganizing the connections in the brain. Deep sleep is like a natural anxiolytic (anxiety suppressor) if you sleep well every night,”says neuroscientist Matthew Walker of the University of California, Berkeley.

Scientists scanned the brains of 18 healthy young volunteers twice as they watched disgusting videos that were shown to elicit an emotional response. Once the scan occurred after the participants had slept well the night before the experiment, and another time after a sleepless night in the lab, where they read, watched videos, and played board games.

Each time, the participants' level of anxiety was measured using a psychological test. His results showed that a sleepless night caused a 30% increase in anxiety levels. According to the authors, 78% of the participants themselves reported increased anxiety. Moreover, in half of young people, the level of anxiety exceeded the threshold for symptoms of clinical anxiety disorders.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed increased emotional reactivity after a sleepless night. At the same time, activity in an area of ​​the brain that helps regulate anxiety has been largely turned off. Conversely, recordings of various readings taken during the participants' sleep showed that those who enjoyed the longest periods of deep sleep, called slow-wave sleep, experienced the least anxiety.

As reported by the authors, they found that even mild sleep disturbances increase anxiety, but even small improvements in sleep quality could potentially reduce it by acting as a non-pharmacological prophylactic agent.

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