Sleep Hygiene and its Impact on Mental Health

Several hormones are regulated during the sleep cycle, and without positive sleep hygiene, those cycles can face severe disruptions. 

Evidence suggests that many metabolic processes and hormones are impacted by your sleep quality, such as:

  • Growth hormone
  • Melatonin
  • Cortisol
  • Leptin
  • Ghrelin

Mental Health and Sleep: What Your Hormones and Metabolic Processes Do

All of these hormones are closely regulated during sleep, and even minor disruptions to sleep quality can cause:

  • Increased risks of obesity
  • Increased risks of diabetes
  • Increased risks of insulin insensitivity
  • Dysregulation of leptin and ghrelin

With the right sleep hygiene, you can increase the chances of successful sleep for the right length of time at the right time of day. Doing so boosts your mental and physical health. 

One of the most important things that happens during sleep is that residual toxic compounds that have built up while your brain is active during the day get removed. This process also helps to consolidate memory, moving short-term memories into long-term memories. Memory formation long-term is aided by improvements to synaptic transmissions and synaptic strength in the brain, which only happens with sustained sleep quality.

Good levels of sleep and growth hormone can encourage endocrine system regulation, which reduces oxidative stress on the brain.


Research has found that getting the right levels of sleep at night helps to suppress cortisol, one of the primary stress hormones your body produces. Disturbances to good sleep quality or length can encourage higher levels of cortisol, which subsequently block REM sleep and lead to higher stress throughout the day.

Metabolic Hormones

When your sleep is disrupted, it causes problems with metabolic hormones like leptin and ghrelin, which are responsible for insulin resistance and appetite management. 

If you experience regular sleep disruptions, it increases your risk of metabolic syndrome and obesity because of the changes in leptin, ghrelin, and insulin. 

Growth hormone

Growth hormone is something often attributed to bodybuilders who want to put on more muscle mass. However, studies indicate that growth hormones can improve mood and cognition, too. It has an effect on endocrine changes, which can help regulate water body mass. 

Tangentially, research has found a correlation between patients who undergo surgery that reduces growth hormones and levels of depression. As such, being able to regulate sleep and encourage stable growth hormone levels could potentially improve mood by reducing depressive symptoms. 


Leptin helps regulate the energy balance in your body, suppressing hunger and decreasing excess fat. If you are not getting the right amount of sleep, then you might have an increased appetite or general moodiness without a lot of energy during the day. 


Ghrelin plays an important part in knowing when to eat. It also helps trigger the release of growth hormones from your pituitary gland. It protects your heart health and insulin levels. Without the right levels of ghrelin, there are cascading effects across all levels of health, which can impair mood. 

Mental Health and Sleep: How to Boost Sleep Hygiene

Studies have found that people who experience sleep deprivation have increased levels of negative moods such as sadness, irritability, frustration, and anger. Conversely, they also experience a decrease in positive mood. Sleeplessness is a common symptom of mood disorders like anxiety and depression.

Given these overlapping relationships, it is important to learn how to boost sleep hygiene so you can have improved mental health. 

Getting Mental Health Treatment with Water Gap Wellness Center

If you are still struggling with poor mental health quality and sleep problems, it might be the result of a more extreme mental health disorder, in which case, professional treatment from a mental health clinic might be in order.

Water Gap Wellness Center is a premier mental health program and treatment center in Pennsylvania. We specialize in several mental health disorders, including those whose symptoms include poor sleep quality like depression and anxiety. 

With Water Gap Wellness Center, clients benefit from personalized outpatient mental health services with flexible scheduling. We offer partial hospitalization programs, intensive outpatient programs, and traditional outpatient programs.

With mental health and dual diagnosis services, our clients can participate in relapse prevention through exposure therapy, recreational activities, daily group therapy, as well as individual weekly sessions with our on-site clinicians.

Contact us at Water Gap Wellness Center to learn more about mental health and sleep quality.

About WGWC

Water Gap Wellness Center offers expert and compassionate treatment for mental health and substance abuse at our Pennsylvania facility, just outside New Jersey, a short drive from New York. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you today. 

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