September 5, 2023 in How We Think

Chiropractor Reviews the Research on Improving Sleep Quality to Reduce Stress

Improving Sleep to Reduce Stress

McKinney Chiropractor Best Practices
Research Commentary;

Improving Sleep to Reduce Stress

A review of
Alexander J. Scott, Thomas L. Webb, Marrissa Martyn-St James, Georgina Rowse, Scott Weich, Improving sleep quality leads to better mental health: A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials, Sleep Medicine Reviews, Volume 60, 2021, 101556, ISSN 1087-0792, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2021.101556.
By Dr. Bryan Stephens

Better Mental Health

Summarized Review Conclusions

This study dives into the relationship of sleep and mental health disorders. They found a causal relationship between improved sleep and a reduction in risk for anxiety, depression, and stress. Going further, they found a dose-response relationship to the improvements in sleep quality to greater improvements in mental health. Essentially, that means that better sleep leads to better mental health.

“Our findings suggest that sleep is causally related to the experience of
mental health difficulties.”

Alexander J. Scott, Thomas L. Webb, Marrissa Martyn-St James, Georgina Rowse, Scott Weich, Improving sleep quality leads to better mental health: A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials, Sleep Medicine Reviews, Volume 60, 2021, 101556, ISSN 1087-0792, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2021.101556.

“nearly one-third of the general population experience symptoms of insomnia (defined as difficulties falling asleep and/or staying asleep)”

Alexander J. Scott, Thomas L. Webb, Marrissa Martyn-St James, Georgina Rowse, Scott Weich, Improving sleep quality leads to better mental health: A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials, Sleep Medicine Reviews, Volume 60, 2021, 101556, ISSN 1087-0792, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2021.101556.

“Mental health problems are also common, with around 17% of adults experiencing mental health difficulties of varying severities”

Alexander J. Scott, Thomas L. Webb, Marrissa Martyn-St James, Georgina Rowse, Scott Weich, Improving sleep quality leads to better mental health: A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials, Sleep Medicine Reviews, Volume 60, 2021, 101556, ISSN 1087-0792, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2021.101556.

Introduction to the Research

With almost 1/3 of the population experiencing insomnia like symptoms, it becomes important to see the effect on mental health. Mental health disorders have also become more common with almost 17% of adults experiencing them to some degree. This ranges through stress, depression, and anxiety among others. The authors mention the previous thought that mental health disorders would affect sleep, but also looked into how sleep affects mental disorders. That became the basis for this meta-analysis.

Research Methodology

A search was performed to find randomized controlled trials that evaluated sleep and mental health disoreders. “To be included in the present review, studies needed to 1) be a randomized controlled trial that tested an intervention designed to improve sleep; 2) produce a statistically significant effect on sleep
quality when compared to a control group or an alternative treatment, 3) report a measure of mental health subsequent to the measure of sleep quality, 4) report sufficient data to compute an effect size representing the impact of the intervention on both sleep quality and mental health, 5) be written in English, or translatable using available resources. In order to reliably and validly assess the
independent contribution of changes in sleep on mental health outcomes among adult populations, studies were excluded if 1) the intervention contained elements that specifically target a mental health problem in addition to elements that target sleep; or 2) recruited children and young people (i.e., <18 years of age).”
From the studies found, 72 interventions were included with a total number of 8608 participants.

Alexander J. Scott, Thomas L. Webb, Marrissa Martyn-St James, Georgina Rowse, Scott Weich, Improving sleep quality leads to better mental health: A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials, Sleep Medicine Reviews, Volume 60, 2021, 101556, ISSN 1087-0792, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2021.101556.

Research Findings

“The present review used meta-analysis to synthesize the effect of 72 interventions that improved sleep quality relative to a control condition on subsequent mental health. The findings revealed that improving sleep quality had, on average, a medium-sized effect on mental health, including clear evidence that improving sleep reduced depression, anxiety, and stress. A dearth of primary studies of other mental health difficulties (e.g., psychosis spectrum experiences, suicidal ideation, PTSD, rumination, and burnout) mean that it is premature to draw definitive conclusions in these areas. It was also notable that we found a dose-response relationship between improvements in sleep quality and subsequent mental health, such that greater improvements in sleep led to greater improvements in mental health. Although there was some evidence of publication bias, the effects remained robust to correction. Taken together, the findings suggest that improving sleep leads to better mental health, therefore providing strong evidence that sleep plays a causal role in the experience of mental health difficulties.”

Alexander J. Scott, Thomas L. Webb, Marrissa Martyn-St James, Georgina Rowse, Scott Weich, Improving sleep quality leads to better mental health: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, Sleep Medicine Reviews, Volume 60, 2021, 101556, ISSN 1087-0792, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2021.101556.

Research References

As always with these reviews, these are my takeaways from the article and I encourage you to read the article in its entirety. The references used in this article by the authors of this article are listed here.

Our Message

We love to help our patients in Dallas stay healthy. We are here to relieve back pain, neck pain and headaches while also teaching about how our diet and stress effects our over all health. By improving these areas of our lives we can become healthier, stay out of pain and reduce risk of diseases. Our McKinney Chiropractors, located near Craig Ranch, near the corner of S. Stonebridge Dr. and Eldorado Pkwy., want to help you stay healthy and out of pain!