Mental Health Depends on Sleep

Dr. Anuj Chandra Presents Workshop on Sleep Disorders and Mental Illness at NAMI Tennessee Convention, Sept. 17

“We know that by treating sleep disorders we can help mental disorders. Sleep disorders and mental illness are inextricably linked,” said Dr. Anuj Chandra, chairman of the Advanced Center for Sleep Disorders.

Dr. Chandra will present a workshop on the relationship of sleep disorders and mental illness on Sept. 17 at the 2010 convention of NAMI Tennessee, a volunteer, non-profit, self-help organization composed of the families and friends of persons who have mental illness, professionals in the mental health field and consumers of mental health services. The convention will be held Sept. 16-18 at the Chattanoogan hotel in Chattanooga. For more information, visit www.namitn.org or call (800) 467-3589.

“Sleep issues predate the onset of psychological disorders, sometimes by years. And the relationship goes both ways. By treating mental illness we can help sleep disorders and by treating sleep disorders we can help mental illness. Mental health professionals and families need to understand how sleep and mental illness are related,” said Dr. Chandra.

Dr. Chandra’s workshop is designed to help people with mental illness, their families and mental health professionals understand both the broad relationship of sleep and mental health and the many specific connections between sleep disorders and mental disorders.

For example, mental illness can often lead to physiological disorders such as insomnia or excessive daytime sleepiness. These sleep disorders can, in turn, produce more psychiatric disorders such as depression, seasonal affective disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, personality disorders and other mental illnesses. Certain problems that sleep specialists see in people without mental disorders – like sleep terrors and nightmares – can be present more frequently in patients with psychological disorders. In addition, the medications used to treat psychiatric disorders can cause physiological changes that effects sleep duration and quality.

“These are just a few of the interrelationships,” said Dr. Chandra. “Taking a sleep history, early identification of sleep disorders and addressing sleep hygiene issues can make a huge difference in the mental and physical health of patients.”

Dr. Anuj Chandra is a double-board certified sleep specialist who treats patients in the Chattanooga area and trains physicians internationally. He is chairman of the Advanced Center for Sleep Disorders, located at 6073 East Brainerd Road, which offers state-of-the-art sleep diagnostic testing in a home-like setting and treatment for sleep disorders like sleep apnea, daytime sleepiness, restless leg syndrome, and others. For more information, visit the Center’s web site at www.sleepforhealth.org.

NAMI Tennessee is dedicated to the eradication of mental illnesses and to the improvement of the quality of life of all whose lives are affected by these diseases. The organization provides classes to help families cope with the effects of mental illness; provides support for persons with serious brain disorders and their families in areas such as housing, health care coverage and improved mental health services; advocates for fair and nondiscriminatory laws at the federal and state levels; and works to eliminate the pervasive stigma surrounding severe mental illness.

Sponsored in part by a grant from the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, NAMI Tennessee is part of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.