January 3, 2021

5 reasons to prioritize better sleep in 2021

Sleep does more for your health than you might realize. Dr. Deirdre Conroy gives her insights. 

Read the entire article on CNET's website here.

Deirdre Conroy, Ph.D.


1. Improved mental health

The CDC reported that late June 2020 at least 40% of Americans said that they're struggling with mental health in the wake of COVID-19. According to the National Sleep Foundation, lack of sleep or poor sleep is connected to mental health disorders including anxiety and depression.

"Certainly we're all familiar with not getting enough sleep and feeling irritable or even anxious or depressed. And especially now, we're really being put to the test with what's going on in the world right now," says Dr. Deirdre Conroy, a University of Michigan behavioral sleep specialist, says.

While it's not entirely understood how sleep and mental health are connected, we know they influence one another. The relationship is complicated, since mental health issues like anxiety can prevent you from getting restful sleep, and the lack of sleep certainly doesn't improve the anxiety. The bottom line is that good sleep is a step in the right direction for better mental health.


5. Better focus and productivity

After a bad night's sleep, trying to focus on work or anything for that matter is tough. If you're not prioritizing good sleep, you could be paying for it with hours of lost productivity and focus.

"Making it more of a priority for you to get enough sleep can really improve not only your mood, but perhaps interpersonally, your cognition. So how quickly you respond, your reaction when you're talking or driving, memory and concentration [are impaired by lack of sleep]," says Dr. Conroy.