Mental illness, mood disorders, memory lapses, overtaxed minds and sleep… Final thoughts on the 4 Ms

Poor sleep can lead to real health problems that truly are “all in your head.”

anxiety black and white

Curator’s note: I’ve covered quite a bit of territory across the landscape of the 4 Ms: mood, memory, mind, and mental health. And yet I’ve hardly scratched the surface. Here are 20 more awesome posts I’d like to share to close out our April theme with hopes that readers will see the deep connections between our sleep health and our overall psychological, emotional, psychiatric, and intellectual health.


APR 24: Inc.
New Startup Uses Sound Technology to Fight Depression || Depression is one of the most communal cerebral health illnesses in the United States. It affects over 15 million adults annually, or 6-7 percent of the entire adult population
Curator’s note: This makes sense to me in so many ways. (I’ve already written about the ways in which a frequency-and-music smartphone app has helped me with anxiety here.)

APR 14: Medical Daily
Weighted Blanket For Anxiety, Trouble Sleeping: Deep Touch Pressure Boosts Serotonin, Calms Nerves
Curator’s note: Seriously, everything you ever wanted to know about this alternative to medication for insomnia.

APR 12: Medical Daily
3 Health Conditions Nightmares Can Predict, Plus The Link Between Bad Dreams And Suicide
Curator’s note: Comes with a bonus drowsy driving video, which makes me happy.

APR 4: Business Insider
I moved to one of the world’s cloudiest cities and nothing has helped my mood as much as this light
Curator’s note: I can vouch for the effectiveness of light therapy, living in another city where Californians find themselves ducking the clouds and wincing against the glare of outcast skies.

NO DATE: Media Planet: Future of Personal Health
What You Can Do About Mental Health and Sleep: PREVENTION & TREATMENT || Sleep has a bidirectional relationship with both anxiety and depression. Each one can affect the other, so which do you treat: the anxiety or your poor sleep?
Curator’s note: This doesn’t have to be the conundrum it sounds like it might be. Some good information and solutions here.

Memory & Learning

APR 26: Sleep Review
Alternating Skimpy Sleep With Sleep Marathons Hurts Cognition In Young Adults
Curator’s note: One of these days we’ll have figured this out, but it seems that cramming and sleepless nights, followed by languorous post-exam days of sleep are still a thing for high schooler and college coeds, is still a “thing.” More education on sleep health by educators themselves would help. Put those sleep deprivation presentations in there with date rape and drunk driving and guess what? You’ll save even more lives.

APR 5: USA Today College News
Studying at night? You’re doing it right
Curator’s note: Sleeping after intense study sessions helps improve the parts of memory devoted to learning and comprehension.

MAR 23: Sleep Review
New Research for REM Sleep Behavior Disorder in Lewy Body Dementia
Curator’s note: This includes a call for participants in a national multicenter drug trial. Free white paper sponsored by dementia drug maker Axovant.

FEB 2017: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Sleep Spindles: Breaking the Methodological Wall
Curator’s note: Definitely not for everyone, but this 230-page PDF book download shares a ton of data about a particular part of the sleep architecture as measured in EEG: the sleep spindle. Spindles have been shown to have an important relationship with various kinds of mental disorders, brain recovery processing, and the health of our cognitive functions.

JUL 29, 2016: The Daily Mail
A poor night’s sleep DOES make you forgetful: If you get less than five hours you suffer bad temper and memory loss scientists confirm 
Curator’s note: And yet so many of us continue to de-list sleep as a human health priority. We should strive for more sleep so we can be better, more useful citizens.


MAY 1: Sleep Resolutions
Can Sleep Apnea Cause Brain Damage?
Curator’s note: Just one more reason to get a sleep study if you snore loudly or gasp throughout the night. Listen to your loved ones.

APR 25: The Register
‘Grueling’ record-breaking VR movie marathon triggers hallucinations
Curator’s note: Subhead: “Mitigating the side effects just requires removing the headset.” That seems like an understatement to what may become a new pastime, given our tech-addicted, sleep-deprived society. We have no way to know what the long-term effects will be for ordinary people without preexisting mental health problems. This may work for those with PTSD, but let’s not get our kids and their developing brains hooked up to this, please.

APR 6: Psychology Today
Restorative Sleep Is Vital to Brain Health
Curator’s note: Concussions and other brain injuries require us to get as much sleep as possible… but a broken brain may struggle with sleep. Here are some good ways to achieve sleep as part of that healing process.

NOV 12, 2016: Neurobiology of Sleep and Circadian Rhythms
Circadian dysregulation in Parkinson’s disease
Curator’s note:
 A hefty research study, so not for the layperson, but this covers great territory sharing borders between neurodegenerative brain diseases and disruptions to the circadian system. Worth getting the medical dictionary out to parse, if you want to better understand why Parkinsonism and sleep disorders go hand in hand.

NO DATE: Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center
Sleep and Traumatic Brain Injury
Curator’s note: This cogent fact sheet also comes in a Spanish-language version in PDF.


MAY 1: PsychCentral
Does Moon Phase Impact Kids’ Sleep?
Curator’s note: This will be a tough one for many people to accept, because the idea of “lunatics” has been largely sustained as a perennial truth. But similar studies in adults and full moons renders similar results.

APR 26: Sleep Review
Warrior Care Network Targets Sleep Issues in Wounded Veterans
Curator’s note: I love this news. We really need to make the mental health care of our vets a national priority… along with preventing mental health problems among them in the first place!

APR 25: Metro News
Mental health incidents taking bigger toll on Ottawa police: Almost 60 per cent of the force’s long-term-disability claims in 2016 were mental-health-related.
Curator’s note: What’s notably tragic here is that you don’t see a discussion about the link between shift work disorder (a legitimate sleep disorder) and mental health problems until much later in the column. If you ask SHC, “sleep” should be part of the HEADLINE.

APR 23: Thought Catalog
Why We Need To Talk About Kanye West
Curator’s note: This may seem like a treatise on a better understanding of mental health (and it is, a heartfelt, if rough, read), but let’s not overlook one of the key components of the celebrity’s recent breakdown: sleep deprivation. It runs rampant even among our most prized pop culture heroes.

OCT 19, 2016: Sleep Review
Insight into Sleep’s Role in Schizophrenia Offers Potential Treatment Path
Curator’s note: Could this psychiatric disorder be the result of untreated disordered sleep? This could make it preventable, and maybe more easily treatable.

About Tamara Kaye Sellman (621 Articles)

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