Mental health and sleep
Sleep and mental health are often so firmly in the early parenting phase that it would be incomplete to consider them apart. But there are still many myths that cloud our thinking in this crucial area. That’s why one of my passions is ensuring people, mothers & parents especially understand how vital these two areas are and closely interrelated they are so they can learn more about this critical subject.
Our mental health and the scale of the issue on our sleep
As a professional working with parents, I continue to hear & often-cited mothers getting diagnosed with postnatal depression. These being around 10- 15% of all new mother’s current evidence. My findings would suggest that this is, in fact, a gross under-estimation of the actual accurate scale of the issue.
By this, I mean sadly that this 10-15% is only merely the representation of those people who have the resources to access the support and help they need with their mental health support. The more realistic figures show and, according to up to date studies is close to 40% (Kendall-Tackett, 2017). And it is known to be even higher if a mother has experienced previous trauma or violence.
What about trauma?
Meta-analysis studies suggest that about 4% of mothers meet the full criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following childbirth. Still, this figure rises to almost 20% in high-risk groups (Yildiz et al., 2017). However, in a broader context, 30% of all parents would describe their birth as traumatic. Even if their symptoms do not meet the full criteria for PTSD.
The relationship between mental health and sleep
This medium leads me to this question of the relationship between mental health and sleep. I get asked regularly how do depression, anxiety, and trauma affect your sleep? And how does it have an impact on your rest? This situation then leads to when we find out that new parents> Who have already had either pre-existing or new mental health problems cope with the adaptation to parenting and parenthood alongside their distress?
What is the relationship between sleep deprivation and mental health problems? Does sleep make mental health problems worse, or are sleep problems are a symptom of an existing mental health problem? These are all typical questions that I am asked about when I get a client who has been able to approach me.
And is it always as clear-cut as this? What parenting support and interventions help parents who have depression, anxiety, trauma, or other mental health concerns. Finding and supporting those parents who require help with their child’s sleep. Even their own after they have been suffering from months of sleep deprivation now find themselves in a situation of previously non-existent sleeping problems.
Why sleep support is part of mental health treatment
In my work with new families, I meet many people who are struggling with either sleep or mental health. Or both. Sometimes these families approach their health, lactation, or parenting/sleep support professional with an apparent sleep problem. When, in fact, it is a mental health problem that is as yet undiagnosed or identified. Other people have a known mental health concern, which can improve with holistic sleep support. It is not always about helping infants sleep – sometimes-holistic sleep coaches focus primarily on adult sleep! So often, improving sleep and improving mental health are best addressed simultaneously.
What does emotional health have to do with sleep?
As a Holistic Sleep Consultant, I have decided that the sleep programs I create must show that almost nothing about health, well-being, and sleep viewed as isolation. I consider us as humans that are connected beings: we connect parts of ourselves, and we connect with other humans. While compartmentalizing sleep solutions may sometimes yield improvements. It proved over and over again that when underlying emotional and mental health issues are addressed together in tandem is the full benefit realized.
Emotional and mental health is something that the scientific community has been studying for decades. However, it is only recently that it has become mainstream. Mindfulness, meditation, and emotional intelligence are now part of our everyday language. For other professionals like myself and me, it’s easy to see why. It is easy to experience burnout, depression, or poor self-esteem in our stressed, highly charged, and often intense lives.
Achieving a definite sense of emotional well-being includes the experience of a sense of contentment, peace, and confidence. Having positive self-esteem, social competence, emotional awareness, and sensitivity. To be able to spot another persons’ spirit of the same lead to better work, relationship, and personal outcomes according to research studies. Emotional well-being leads to a better quality of life than economic success. With a very profound study recently done that found that money really can’t buy happiness.
Emotional health connects to mental health –
this being when we have feelings in tune with your emotions leads to a greater sense of optimism, control, and confidence. Have you met people who understand not only how they are feeling, but also why they are feeling that way? What the trigger was and what positive steps they can take to address that feeling? You will notice that these people are calmer, more grounded, and less likely to lose their temper.
It is with this well-balanced outlook that we achieve the best results. With great mindset & attention to what is truly important to us as a human who is air, sleep, food, the love, we can thrive on being the best version of ourselves.
To work with myself on how best to make and achieve this in your own life, then please book a call with me today, and we can get you started on the road to self-awareness, fill fullness & gratitude for the ability to appreciate the basics in life to their fullest.