What will you and your Talkspace provider learn from your sleep data that’s relevant to your mental health? For starters, you might think you’re getting seven hours of shut-eye (the minimum recommended amount for healthy adults), but are actually awakening throughout the night and not even realizing it.
Lack of sleep can increase negative thoughts and decrease positive ones, lead to tiredness and irritability, and reduce our ability to focus and concentrate on tasks.
Talkspace therapist Bisma Anwar, LMHC
So if the Oura Ring reveals that you’re only truly asleep for six hours a night, that can inform how you and your provider approach some of the challenges you’re facing. How would your conflicts with your partner play out differently if you were well-rested? Could the first step in addressing your lack of motivation at work be better sleep hygiene?
Or, you might be clocking enough hours of sleep but learn from Oura that too little of them are spent in the deep sleep or REM stages. According to Oura, “Deep sleep, also known as slow-wave sleep, is the body’s most rejuvenating sleep stage. During deep sleep . . your body gets busy repairing and restoring many systems, from your brain to your muscles.” The Sleep Foundation says, “Experts believe that this stage is critical to restorative sleep . . there is evidence that deep sleep contributes to insightful thinking.”
The REM (aka Rapid Eye Movement) sleep stage, when you experience the most active and vivid dreams, is believed to be vital to memory, learning, and creativity. According to Oura, “REM plays an incredibly important role in both emotional health and learning” and “getting enough REM sleep may help mitigate potentially negative emotional reactions.”
If your sleep data shows that your deep sleep or REM stages are too short, you and your provider can discuss causes and solutions. Insufficient deep or REM sleep may be due to stress, or lifestyle factors like drinking alcohol or eating too close to bedtime. You can work with your provider on sleep hygiene, stress management, or anxiety-reduction techniques with the goal of improving sleep quality.