How Sleeping and Eating Can Impact Your Mental Health

How Sleep and Eating Can Impact Your Mental Health

In this episode we talk about:

Sleep and eating habits are fundamental components to maintaining our overall physical and mental health. Yet, when life gets busy it’s easy to skip meals, eat crappy, or sacrifice sleep in order to get through work/life responsibility or meet deadlines. We tell ourselves it’s temporary. Then, before you know, what was temporary turns into habit. Understand how sleep and eating patterns impact your mental health and underlying issues that may be keeping you from health sleep and eating habits.

The Importance of Healthy Sleep and Eating Habits

The Therapists Uncut team discusses the importance of sleeping and eating as a foundational component of maintaining your mental health. As a busy parent or working professional, It’s easy skip meals or un prioritize sleep to power through your work day or home life responsibilities. But, it’s not sustainable for your overall health nor is it encouraged, because your body needs nourishment through your sleep and through eating.

Sleep Recommendations

Total number of hours of sleep per night varies depending on the individual. On average, a person requires 6-9 hours per night to avoid feeling fatigued or lethargic. However, this depends on several factors including your sleep schedule and structure, eating habits, age, or even medical conditions.

For instance, due to the developmental and physical growth of a teenager required sleep can look more like 9-11 hours of sleep per night.

If you are noticing your sleep is all over the place, whether your experiencing excessive sleep, broken sleep, or little to no sleep throughout the night consider how it’s been impacting you.

Negative Impacts of Poor Sleep and Eating Patterns

  • Irritable or withdrawn mood
  • Disrupted appetite
  • Impaired driving ability (aka driving on “autopilot”)
  • Decreased performance at work
  • Increase in irritability levels
  • Impaired relationships
  • Decrease in your immune system, getting sick more
  • And in worst case scenarios, poor sleep and eating patterns can even lead to delusions or psychosis

“Sleep is 100% critical to our functioning.” – Nikki Young

Tips on How to Improve your Sleep and Eating Patterns

  • Remove the TV from your room
  • Establish a sleep schedule
  • Eliminate screen time prior to going to sleep
  • Assess your current sleep and eating habits and ask yourself how they are impacting you work performance, relationships, and day to day functioning
  • Establish a bedtime routine

“You have to have a good night to regimen to help improve your sleep.” – Jolene Daly

Things to Consider when Creating a Bedtime Routine to Help Improve Sleep

  • Brush your teeth
  • Take your vitamins
  • Read a book
  • Read a magazine
  • Avoid screen time
  • Listening to music
  • Avoid stimulants such as alcohol or caffeine
  • Meditation
  • Journal prior to bedtime
  • Stretching
  • Dim the lights prior to bedtime to get your body ready for

While these tips can be helpful in improving sleep patterns, disrupted sleep and eating can also be a result of an underlying medical or mental health issue.

Underlying Issues that May be Negatively Impacting Sleep and Eating Patterns

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Exposure to a traumatic event (recently or in the past)
  • Flashbacks due to traumatic incident
  • Racing thoughts
  • Feeling on edge
  • Medical issues
  • Chronic pain
  • Difficulty adjusting to major life changes or transitions

If you recognize that your disrupted sleep or eating habits might be due to an underlying medical or mental health issues, contact your primary care doctor or a local provider for more information on how you can treat it.

Thank you for allowing us into your lives and helping us make mental health more relatable and a part of your everyday conversation! For more information or to access all episodes visit

Who we are:

Nikki Young is co-host of Therapists Uncut and a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Nikki keeps it personable and professional. Yet, she always manages to keep the Therapists Uncut family and followers laughing. You may find her squirreling through topics, stories, or jokes, and all in good fun. Don’t worry because someone (usually Jolene) will bring her back around to the conversation. Nikki is a licensed marriage and family therapist in her private practice located in Modesto, CA, and she is also a Crisis Junkie at heart. In addition to being co-owner of a group private practice, she is also a crisis clinician responding to local mental health crisis and emergencies. Learn more about Nikki at

Alyssa Najera is co-host of Therapists Uncut and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Alyssa is typically calm and composed on most days, but often has difficulty containing her excitement about the little things in life. She can sometimes drift into daydreaming about the endless possibilities in life and usually the last one of the group to understand Nikki and Jolene’s punchlines.  She loves to laugh, spread positivity, and is often caught with a smile on her face. Alyssa is also a Child Welfare Services (CWS) social worker and supervisor alumni, previous child sexual abuse forensic interviewer, and owner and CEO of a group private practice in the small town of Oakdale, CA. Learn more about Alyssa at or

Jolene Daly is co-host of Therapists Uncut and a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Jolene is a seasoned therapist and private practice owner. She grew up in the Turlock, CA and Modesto, CA area most of her adult life and has been married to her comedian of a husband Jason for 20 years.  She is a genuine, authentic person with a bold personality. You’ll often catch Jolene challenging our listeners and her fellow co-hosts, as she is passionate about her personal and professional values and is vocal when it comes to speaking out for what’s right. Learn more about Jolene at


Thank you for joining Therapists Uncut, a production of AMP Smart Business. To learn more about Therapists Uncut and stay up on upcoming episodes, please subscribe and follow us on social media. As a reminder, although the Therapists Uncut co-hosts are licensed therapists, they are not your therapist. This podcast is not intended to substitute professional mental health counseling. If you need professional therapy, please contact your local provider or primary care provider.  Thanks for listening and we’ll see you on the next episode of Therapists Uncut!

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Therapists Uncut is a production of AMP Smart Business.

Voice Over by Alexia Gloria