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Adequate sleep associated with parental life satisfaction – Neuroscience News

Summary: A study shows that getting enough sleep improves parents’ mental health and overall well-being.

Source: Penn State

New research findings from a multi-university research team that includes Danielle Symons Downs, professor of kinesiology and obstetrics and gynecology and associate director of the Penn State Institute for Social Science Research, show that for new parents and established, getting enough sleep plays an important role in their mental health and, therefore, in their life satisfaction.

The research team analyzed sleep, physical activity, mental health and life satisfaction in couples. Their findings, published in the journal sleep healthreported that meeting sleep guidelines was associated with better mental health and, therefore, life satisfaction for parents of newborns.

Additionally, positive changes in mental health were seen in women, especially first-time mothers, but no changes were seen in men, regardless of parental status.

The research team analyzed sleep, physical activity, mental health and life satisfaction in couples. Image is in public domain

“Given the well-known decreases in physical activity for most couples with the transition to parenthood and our findings in this study that most parents were not meeting recommended sleep hours, targeted approaches that adapt Intervention doses to the changing physical activity and sleep needs of couples throughout the perinatal and postpartum periods may be a useful intervention strategy to improve and, ideally, maintain mental health at long-term parents,” Downs explained.

For parents who can’t squeeze more time into their sleep schedule, the research team recommends avoiding eating large meals and drinking caffeine near bedtime. This lets the body know it’s time to relax.

“The study showed that physical activity had a negligible impact on parents’ mental health. However, getting the recommended hours of sleep was associated with better mental health for parents,” said lead author Alison Divine, senior lecturer at the University of Leeds.

“Although it varied, most parents were below the recommended sleep hours by about an hour. Small improvements in sleep hours could have a significant impact on parents’ mental health. This indicates that an intervention giving prioritizing sleep health education for new parents may have a more positive impact on their quality of life.

About this sleep and mental health research news

Author: Press office
Source: Penn State
Contact: Press Office – State of Pennsylvania
Image: Image is in public domain

Original research: Free access.
“The influence of sleep and movement on mental health and life satisfaction during the transition to parenthood” by Alison Divine et al. sleep health


Summary

The influence of sleep and movement on mental health and life satisfaction during the transition to parenthood

See also

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Goals

This study assessed whether sleep and physical activity impact mental health and life satisfaction throughout the transition to parenthood. This study assessed the impact of parenthood on the mental health of new parents and parents expecting their second child, and whether mental health change occurred dyadic in couples.

Design

Longitudinal study of 12 months.

Speakers

One hundred fifty-seven couples (N=314) aged 25-40, who were not expecting to have children (n=102), were expecting their first child (n=136) or were expecting their second child (n = 76) were recruited.

Measurements

Participants completed measurements at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months. Sleep was assessed with how often participants met sleep guidelines (7 to 9 hours). Physical activity was measured objectively via accelerometers. Mental Health was measured using 6 items from the Short Form 12 Quality of Life Survey. Life satisfaction was assessed using the Life Satisfaction Scale (5 items).

Results

Mental health was not predicted by physical activity, but by sleep. Sleep at 6 months was positively related to mental health at 6 months (b = 0.156, p < 0.001), and sleep at 12 months was positively related to mental health at 12 months (b = 0.170, p < .001). The change in mental health did not occur in a dyadic fashion: mental health increased for women, but not for men, in all groups. Mental health was positively related to life satisfaction at 6 months (β = 0.338, p < .001) and 12 months (b = 0.277, p < .001).

conclusion

For new and established parents, getting enough sleep plays an important role in mental health and, therefore, life satisfaction.

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