Sleep and Mental Health
When the children were small, I’d read them a book by Jill Murphy called ‘Sleep at Last’ in which Mr Bear tries, unsuccessfully, to sleep, hampered by a ticking clock and a snoring Mrs Bear. Even when he tries to grab forty winks in Baby Bear’s room, it turns out that the little one had wriggled out of his bedding and was pretending to be an aeroplane. By the morning, he is well and truly, a bear with a sore head…
I’d read the bedtime story feeling huge amounts of sympathy for Mr Bear and feeling pretty much the same as him.
Before having children, I didn’t realise what being sleep deprived really meant and I wasn’t hugely understanding when friends seemed weighed down by exhaustion. Anyone with a baby or toddler knows what it feels like to have that foggy head the next day and feel cross with the world. But when does that feeling become more than just exhaustion and something which has a significant impact on your mental health?
The Mental Health Foundation https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/ says sleep is as important to our health as eating, drinking and breathing. It allows our bodies to repair themselves and our brains to consolidate our memories and process information. Poor sleep is linked to physical problems such as a weakened immune system and mental health problems, including anxiety and depression.
According to an article in The Daily Mail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2011991/Lack-sleep-drove-brink-madness–happen-too.html young mother and novelist, Helen Walsh, was driven to the brink of despair by lack of sleep and has since penned a novel, Go To Sleep, based on the fictional suicide notes from a mother to her baby. She found herself suffering from hallucinations, paranoia and suicidal thoughts and feeling ‘utterly out of control’.
She says: “I spiralled into depression, but it would have been interesting to see if I’d had more sleep whether it would have led to depression. I’ve had two more children since and not had the same problems.”
She was eventually put under the care of psychiatrists and prescribed sleeping pills.
Dr John Shneerson, of the Sleep Centre at Papworth Hospital, Cambridgeshire, says in the article: “If you are sleep-deprived you are more likely to get depressed, and if you’re depressed you are more likely to sleep badly.”
One solution is to encourage our little darlings to actually sleep! After recording 1,095 consecutive nights of broken sleep with my little boy, I was at breaking point myself. I figured it was easier to go to bed fully clothed myself – as I was up so often during the night. Having watched his disturbed nights, I came to the conclusion that one reason he kept waking was due to his bedding becoming untucked, leaving him feeling chilly and less than snug.
I realised that stay-on bedding was the solution and Tuck n’ Snug was born. This wriggle-proof bedding is the simplest of child sleep solutions for two to eight-year olds, ensuring a good night’s sleep for the whole family. The Tuck n’ Snug matching duvet cover and pillowcase sets simply tuck in and stay snugly on your toddler’s bed for the whole night.
Today, sleep deprivation for me is a thing of the past, thanks to Tuck n’ Snug. It’s such a simple solution but for our family – and for others who have discovered our fun duvet cover sets for kids – it has been life-changing.