Mental Health and Sleep

  • Sleep plays a large role in our mental wellbeing and daily functioning. However, inadequate sleep is quite common, affecting 33-45% of Australian adults.
  • When it comes to the workplace, the Australian Sleep Foundation found that in the space of three months, 1 in 6 adults reported making errors at work because of sleepiness or sleep problems.


Anxiety doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Often quite the opposite. Sleep is often badly affected.

While each anxiety condition has its own unique features, there are some common symptoms including:

  • Physical: panic attacks, hot and cold flushes, racing heart, tightening of the chest, quick breathing, restlessness, or feeling tense, wound up and edgy
  • Psychological: excessive fear, worry, catastrophizing, or obsessive thinking
  • Behavioural: avoidance of situations that make you feel anxious which can impact on study, work or social life

These are just some of a number of symptoms that you might experience. They’re not designed to provide a diagnosis – for that you’ll need to see a doctor.


ADHD is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a common neurodevelopmental condition starting in younger children and characterised by

Attention issues

  • focus
  • concentration
  • memory


  • inability to keep still
  • impulsivity
  • loud

Emotional dysregulation

  • Anger
  • Inability to control emotions

Sleep is affected, such as delayed sleep phase syndrome, sleep disturbance, and tiredness in the day.

Traditionally medications such as methylphenidate, and dexamphetamine has been used but now to improve the hyperarousal state, especially at night time, more patients are using Cannabidiol or CBD oil.


Over 270 million people worldwide experience the symptoms of depression. It can affect people from all ages and backgrounds, and can be triggered by underlying biological factors (such as family history or physical health), or external contributing factors (such as chronic illnesses, personal losses, or relationship breakdowns).
As well as diverse triggers, there is a large range of potential signs and symptoms of depression, which will differ with each person.

Common symptoms of depression may include:

  • Feeling sad, moody or irritable, numb or empty (without an obvious reason)
  • Not feeling like seeing others, or doing the things you usually enjoy
  • Being overly self-critical
  • Feeling like you’re not coping
  • Losing your temper more than usual
  • Losing your appetite, or over-eating
  • Finding it hard to sleep, or sleeping for longer periods
  • Drinking more than usual – alcohol and drugs are often used to cope with depression, but also contribute to the problem
  • Feeling angry, worthless or hopeless.

The good news is that there are medical and psychological treatments for the symptoms of depression. For some, a combination of medication and psychological treatments may work best. It is important to find an individual approach that works for your situation.


Schizophrenia is a mental health illness characterised by disorganised thinking, delusions, and hallucinations such as hearing voice. The impact on wellbeing is immense, and also impacts on sleep quality and quantity.

Improving sleep quality in patients with schizophrenia is paramount to improving wellbeing and mental health. Both hyperarousal or positive psychosis symptoms can fragment sleep but also side effects of psychotropic drugs lead to weight gain and obstructive sleep apnea.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder is a mental health condition characterised by swings of mood, from normal to mania / hypomania to depression.

There are two types:

  • Bipolar 1 Disorder comprising of mania episodes with or without depression, and
  • Bipolar 2, comprising of hypomania (less intense mania) with depression.

This condition commonly disrupts sleep, causing insomnia, particularly related to the agitation and hyperarousal state in sleep. Many take medication but this can lead to side effects especially cognitive impairment and weight gain. More interest in the role of Cannabidiol CBD oil is growing in reducing the hyperarousal at night and improve sleep quality. THC is not recommended due to risk of psychosis.

What to do next…

Consult with a Sleep Physician to discuss and work out a treatment plan.