Recovery For Mental Health Must Include Good Sleep To Reduce Obsessive Thinking

What time you go to sleep and how well you sleep can have an impact on how well you function the next day. This is not news for most people. Going to bed at an unreasonable hour and getting a small amount of sleep puts strain on cognitive functioning like paying attention, retaining information, and having mental clarity. According to new research, the amount of and quality of sleep one gets, especially when living with obsessive compulsive disorder, has a direct influence on the presence of obsessive thinking.

Obsessive thoughts are often intrusive and wanted. Many different mental health conditions have a symptom of obsessive thinking coupled with a compulsive behavior. Obsessive compulsive disorder, however, is a special manifestation of that relationship. For someone with OCD, the obsessive thinking can feel out of control, as can the subsequent compulsive behaviors. When working on recovery for OCD, tools like stress management, mindfulness, and meditation are often used to try and limit obsessive thinking in addition to compulsive behaviors. Sleep is an important part of recovery often advocated as self-care. Going to sleep at a reasonable hour, and getting enough quality deep sleep is essential.

Participants in the study had diagnosed OCD. They were asked to keep a sleep diary and a daily diary which rated how in control of their OCD symptoms- like obsessive thinking and compulsive behaviors- they felt. The compulsive behaviors involved in OCD lean toward ritualized behaviors, because they are often repetitive in nature. How well or not well a participant slept the night before had an influence on their OCD symptoms the next day, particularly the participants’ perception of their ability to control their OCD. Participant’s who went to sleep later at night and got less hours of sleep had the most difficulty regulating their symptoms.

Sleep is important for recovery from all mental health conditions. Without sleep, the brain is unable to rest and restore itself. While there are sleep disorders which can cause a problem with sleep, there are many mistakes people make when it comes to getting sleep. Limiting technology use, paying attention to late night snacking, and other factors can play a critical role in getting enough quality sleep.

Cottonwood Tucson offers globally recognized clinical treatment for co-occurring disorders. Our integrative approach to treatment takes the specific needs of each client into consideration, helping them develop a spiritual path of recovery. Call us today for information on our residential programs: (888) 727-0441

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