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The 4 Ms and Sleep: Mental, Mind, Memory & Mood

4 Ms: Mental, Mind, Memory, Mood The month of April opens with our brand-new theme: The 4Ms and Sleep.

What are the 4Ms?

SHC devised the 4Ms approach initially to discussing the wide-ranging impact of sleep health on specific nuances of brain function connected to emotional, behavioral, mental, physical, even spiritual health.

For instance, a student could struggle with emotional swings (MOOD), poor attention span in class (MIND), struggles to remember key facts for a test (MEMORY), drowsy driving (MIND) as a result of poor concentration while behind the wheel of a car early on a school morning, even exacerbation of a neurological disorder such as dyslexia (MENTAL)—and all of these problems could be partly caused by sleep deprivation.

It’s complicated, but that doesn’t mean SHC won’t go there.

This week SHC focuses on Mental Health as it pertains to sleep health. On the week of April 10, SHC switches gears to examine the Life of the Mind through the lens of sleep, followed by Memory and Sleep on the week of April 17. Finally, the last week in April will spotlight the various ways in which Mood is enhanced or disrupted by changes in sleep.

MENTAL logo for 4MsMental Health, Illness & Wellness

Mental health is influenced by both the quality and quantity of our sleep. Without good sleep, imbalances in chemistry, neurology or biology may emerge.

This M can be about psychiatry and psychology, or neurobiology. It can be influenced by internal forces like personality or hidden psychosis, as well as by external influences like trauma, medication, and co-morbid mental health or neurological diagnoses.

MIND logo for 4MsLife of the Mind & Mindfulness

Life of the Mind is an elegant way to address a human being’s capacity for intelligence and intellect. Sleep can greatly impact one’s ability to receive and process information, the hallmarks of learning and wisdom.

Adequate sleep is also important for critical thinking, confident decision making, smart judgment calls, and functional self management.

This M is also about the ways in which we can master and even transcend the intellect.

MEMORY logo for 4MsMemory

Memory is a multifaceted process of the human brain that relies on sleep in through multiple functions. Memory is also critical to learning itself. It’s loss can be one of the most debilitating outcomes of aging.

How we sleep, how much we sleep, and whether we have sleep disorders can matter a great deal to our continued ability to remember facts, moments, names, and more.

MOOD logo for 4MsMood Regulation & Disorders

Depression and anxiety constitute the broader umbrellas under which mood disorders can cluster, when one is undergoing emotional highs and lows as a result of disrupted sleep.

This M may be a negative outcome of sleep deprivation, sleep disorders, even a single night’s loss of sleep, as it can lead to suicidal ideation, relationship crises, and workplace problems related to emotional swings. It can also be a positive, healing and empowering outcome when good sleep is achieved.

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