Holistic Sleep: A Treatment for Depression

Sleep as a central focus
in depression treatment

The number of people with depression is increasing rapidly worldwide. According to a study by the World Health Organization (WHO), around 322 million people were affected in 2015, 4.4 percent of the world’s population. That was a good 18 percent more than ten years earlier.The challenges and isolation caused by a worldwide pandemic in 2020 only increased the number of people suffering from depression. About 100 million patients diagnosed with depression are additionally burdened by resistance to therapy. According to a World Health Organization (WHO) forecast, in 2030 depression will be the most common disease in industrialized nations. In addition to the discomfort suffered by those affected and often their loved ones, this causes enormous economic damage, too.

Causes and symptoms are very complex

These alarming figures show how widespread depression is. The diagnosis is still challenging, as it is primarily based on symptoms and history. The diagnosis of depression becomes especially difficult, because about two-thirds of the patients do not go to the doctor for mental symptoms, but because of physical complaints. The most common physical symptoms include headaches, neck and back pains, dizziness, stomach problems, and sleep disorders.

There can be many causes of depression—physical, genetic, and psycho-social aspects play a role. At the same time, what’s currently happening in life plays an important role. More and more studies indicate that, pollution also referred to as “environmental hormones” and electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are involved in the development of depression. This leads to a change in brain chemistry and neuro-stress which, in turn, negatively affects the brain’s metabolism.

In addition to common treatments such as antidepressants and psychotherapies with or without medication, doctors and other medical professionals use depth psychology or behavioral therapy to treat depression.

Sleep is the most important
pillar for mental health

One of the leading sleep scientists, the late Dr. William C. Dement formerly of Stanford University, summarized: “After 40 years of sleep research, I have found no factor that has a greater impact on our well-being and our health than sleep. Over 90 percent of our health depends on sleep“. This also applies to our mental health. Today, we know that 70 percent of our physical regeneration and 100 percent of our mental regeneration depend on high-quality sleep. Yet, in industrialized nations, more than 80 percent of employees complain about poor, disturbed and restless sleep as more and more people are suffering from a chronic sleep deficit.

Studies worldwide have repeatedly shown that almost all patients with depression, burnout, mental disorders, etc. also suffer from sleep disorders and thus a lack of sleep. For a long time, research has assumed that sleep disorders are an accompanying symptom of the disease, especially in the case of depression or burnout. Today, it is scientifically proven that limited sleep quality is one of the major causes of mental illness like depression and burnout syndrome. Sleepwalking people and sleep-deprived people with a chronic sleep deficit have up to 10 times the risk of developing depression!

Studies by the US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) have led to a surprising result: more than 80 percent of patients with depression suffered a significant improvement in their symptoms as soon as their sleep problems were resolved. As soon as sleep regulation was added as a treatment option (in addition to a medical-therapeutic depression treatment), the treatment success doubled.

This realization motivated the founders and operators of Clinicum Alpinum, Dr. Marc Risch and his wife/business partner, Michaela Risch to use sleep diagnostically and therapeutically for the faster recovery of their patients.

For over 20 years, studies have shown that depression, anxiety, and mental health problems can be caused and amplified by electromagnetic fields in the environment (EMF).

HEALTHY SLEEP CONCIERGE

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