March 10, 2023

Sleep impacts mental health; resources available to help

March 12-18 is Sleep Awareness Week, which makes it a good time to discuss the impact of sleep on mental health. 

The saying “woke up on the wrong side of the bed” has long been used to show how sleep can affect someone’s mental well-being and mood. According to the Sleep Foundation, sleep is closely connected to mental and emotional health and may be associated with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and other mental health conditions.

Cheryl Laszynski, registered nurse health coach at the Center for Healthy Living on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus, agrees. 

“Many times, sleep is viewed as an optional lifestyle luxury when in fact it is a nonnegotiable biological necessity,” Laszynski said. “And many anxiety disorders are associated with difficulties sleeping. Stress and worry seem to heighten for some individuals closer to bedtime, and when your mind is racing with all of these thoughts it can be difficult to fall asleep, which in turn can result in lack of sleep. Attempting to change the trajectory of this poor sleep, combined with anxiety or other mental health concerns, can add even more stress. It can be overwhelming, but it’s important for individuals to remember that there is help available.” 

Health coaches at Center for Healthy Living locations (West Lafayette and Hammond campuses) – as well as the health coach at Purdue Fort Wayne – can work with individuals to address sleep and relaxation as well as stress, anxiety and more. The partnership formed with a health coach can help individuals set and reach goals to improve their overall wellness.

To schedule with a health coach at Center for Healthy Living locations (Laszynski, Whitney Soto or Felicia Warfield), call 765-494-0111 or use the patient portal. To schedule with Lindsay Bloom, health coach at Purdue Fort Wayne, call 260-481-6651 or email All appointments are available in person or via phone. Health coaching is a no-cost wellness program for benefits-eligible employees and dependents covered on a Purdue health plan.

Counselors via SupportLinc (West Lafayette), Bowen Center (PFW) or New Avenues (PNW) can dive deeper into the well-being of individuals with any mental health concerns.

In addition, LiveHealth Online offers LiveHealth Online Better Sleep, which consists of a care path for members to effectively identify, engage, diagnose and manage sleep disorders. LiveHealth Online visits process within the tier 1 HealthSync Network. 

Other sources of information are available. Harvard Medical School explains how sleep deprivation can affect your mental health, and VeryWell Mind shares information on the effects of lack of sleep on mental health. There’s also a “Better Sleep, Better You” behavioral health course on the Healthy Boiler Portal under the University tab. 


To assist faculty and staff

Faculty and staff can review the Mental Health Resources webpage for a variety of available resources, which support the behavioral health pillar of the Healthy Boiler Program, and information on Purdue’s health plan coverage for mental health and substance abuse. 

To assist students

Faculty and staff who work with students or have a student at home can direct them to the resources below for behavioral health assistance. Note: United Healthcare Student Resources (UHCSR) — medical plan provider for students and graduate students — offers 292 unique mental health providers serving at various locations that are in-network with UHCSR within Tippecanoe County. The list is available here. Additionally, students have access to HealthiestYou, which provides virtual access to mental health care as part of UHCSR’s plan. All services are free for students covered under the UHCSR insurance plan.   

Office of the Dean of Students

Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS)

Faculty-Staff News

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