025. What Havoc Do Stress and Sleep Deprivation Cause on Your Mental Wellbeing

Duration: 00:26:14

Our conversation today is with Hiidoon Muili a  Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor and Mental Health advocate. She works for a major health provider in the State of Texas as a member of the Psychiatric Response Team. This is a mobile psych response team that  provides evaluations and crisis intervention to individuals who present to the Emergency Room with psychiatric emergencies. She owns Bloom Child & Family Services, an agency which provides case management to children and pregnant women, as well as psychological counseling across the lifespan. She is a strong promoter of culturally-sensitive mental health, knowing that each culture possesses unique strengths that can help to build resilience and healing in individuals. Using her life experiences, she is able to empathize with others and continuously strives to encourage and motivate others to identify and fulfill their full potentials.

We talk about the harmful effects of stress and sleep deprivation on the body. The discussion about stress is very important because the World Health Organization classifies stress as the epidemic of the 21st century!
Episode Highlights with with Hiidoon Muili, LCSW, LCDC-I: 
  • What goes on in the body when we are stressed
  • How stress affects sleep
  • How to get restful sleep
To implement what you learn, join our Facebook Group: Wellness Surge Family.
Connect with Hiidoon Muili on Instagram @bloomcfs or via email: bloomcfs@gmail.com

Show Transcript

Introduction: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Wellness Surge Podcast with Dr. Adeola. Oke. Each week we discuss our wellness journey with real people like you and me. We have conversations about food, fitness, mental health, financial wellness, and much more, so you can get back to the real you. To make sure that you’re up to date with this and other wellness topics, visit wellnesssurge.com. Information presented here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. Please do not apply any of the information presented here without first speaking with your primary care provider. Now let’s head on to the show.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:00:36] Hello, everybody. Welcome to the Wellness Surge Podcast. My name is Dr. Adeola Oke. And today I have Mrs. Hidoon Muili with me, say hello to everybody.

Hiidoon Muili: [00:00:46] Hi Everyone!

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:00:48] Alrighty. So today we’re going to be talking about ‘The Havoc that Stress and Sleep Deprivation can  cause on your mental wellbeing.’ So let me say that again.

What Havoc that Stress and Sleep Deprivation cause on your mental wellbeing? So I’m just going to introduce Mrs. Hidoon to you really quickly. She is a licensed clinical social worker. She’s also a licensed chemical dependency counselor and mental health advocate. She works for major health provider, in the state of Texas, as a member of the psychiatric response team.

This is a mobile psych response team. That provides evaluation and crisis intervention to individuals who present to the emergency room with psychiatric emergencies. Wow! She owns Boom Child and Family Services and an agency which provides case management to children and pregnant women, as well as psychological counseling across the lifespan.

She’s a strong promoter  of culturally sensitive mental health, knowing that each culture possesses unique strengths that can help to build resilience and healing in individuals, right? We all need that. So using her life experiences, she’s able to empathize with others and continuously strive to encourage and motivate others, to identify and fulfill their full potential.

Awesome. When I read that, I was like, Whoa! Awesome. Alrighty. Well, thank you. Thank you. And welcome to the show.

Hiidoon Muili: [00:02:29] Thank you very much. And thank you for all you do. I watch your show. I love everything that I see. And I hope that people learn just from listening and sharing experiences.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:02:44] Thank you. Thank you. I hope so too. I learn a couple of things when I come on here, actually. Like when I invite somebody, I want to learn. And I feel like if I want to learn I’m sure other people want to learn too. So I think it’s like a win-win thing. So let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Okay. So what goes on in our body- everybody experienced this stress, right?

We all know. I’m stressed. I’m this I’m that?But… what is going on in our body when we are experiencing the stress?

Hiidoon Muili: [00:03:12] Well, I guess this is a very common topic. Everybody talks about stress. Stress seems to be the most common thing with every human being. And especially with the COVID pandemic and everything- everybody’s stressed.

So I will start by defining stress, I guess, and then I’ll go onto your question after that. So stress is defined as a feeling of emotional and physical tension. So when you think about how you feel when you… are about to face a dangerous situation, or you have a tight deadline, or, you know. Sometimes even when good thing is happening, you feel that tension in your body, and it is the body’s reaction to a challenge or demand.

And these demands may be internal or external. So stress can be internal, which may have to do with maybe if you have a chronic health issue, maybe a back problem or something to do with your internal organs. And stress can be external- a lot of us are more used to the  external stress. It comes from factors such as conflict, war, danger, work demands, child railing demands as well-

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:04:25] You can say that again (Laugh)

Hiidoon Muili: [00:04:27] Yeah. Everything- these days, almost everything can cause stress in life. So, um, in the short term, though, stress is good because stress pushes us to achieve things. So if you have an exam coming up and your stress. That’s um, some of the good kind of stress, because it pushes you to study hard.

It pushes you to meet those deadlines. It’s pushes you to do what you need to do. Stress was actually originally meant to, you know, create the fight or flight instinct in us. So it helps you run away from danger and it helps you stay safe. However, a lot of times, the stress that we feel is long term, which is called the chronic stress.

So the acute is the short term and the chronic is the long term. And the longterm stress is the one that is really problematic, and the one we need to avoid. So to answer your question specifically, stress disturbs the immune system, it disturbs the cardiovascular system. So it has to do with the heart and, you know, your nervous system- digestive.

Longterm stress pushes your body to its limits and it affects your sleep and ultimately your mental health. So mental health is hugely impacted by longterm stress.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:05:48] Okay. Okay. Okay. Wow, yeah. All the other things you said,  yeah, it makes sense, sleep, all that stuff. But like affecting your mental health is something I never really put together, but I’m like just starting to understand it.

So. How does this stress affect our sleep? You know? Like you say, affects sleep, it affects mental health- how does they do this?

Hiidoon Muili: [00:06:11] Okay. So to answer this question, I usually try to use an analogy. So when we look at science and the human body, stress is like I earlier said, an emotion that’s supposed to push us to the fight or flight response.

So it’s actually meant to alert us that there’s danger coming. And when that happens, when your system is on the alert- it tells you that danger is coming. And it sends blood, it sends messages, you know, without trying to use scientific terms here, it sends messages to your limbs, to your heart-to beat faster, to your legs and hands to equip you to run away from the danger. And it just wakes up your nervous system to prepare you to either fight that danger or to flee from it. So your body’s all charged up and ready to face the danger. Now, when it becomes chronic, it means that your body’s unable to shut up that response. So typically when you run away from danger and you’re safe, your body should be able to tell you, okay the danger is over now.

Calm down, you know, rest your heart, take it easy, all is well. Unfortunately, when the stress goes from acute to chronic, then it means your body is constantly in that fight or flight mode. Your body’s consistently activated to either flee or to fight. And so your body is not able to get back to that restful phase, which is the natural thing that you should do.

And that affects your sleep because  you go and lay down to sleep, but you’re can’t sleep because you’re still in that heightened state of tension. And yeah, it just keeps, you know, doing that and it just degenerates from there. So when you’re unable to shut down your brain, then you can’t sleep.

And then when you can’t sleep, that means your brain hasn’t had time to rest, and relax, and recharge, and you know, mental health issues start to come from there.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:08:11] I can totally see that. I’m just thinking about like way back in the days when our ancestors, right. They will like say like a lion is chasing them.

Right. All the senses are on. UGHH!!! You cannot sleep. So it’s just like, if you really think about it, you make sense. Like , I guess I didn’t sit down to think about it, like, huh? This stress I’ve been going through you know- stress that you’re going through. Like, if I’m stressed, if I don’t take the time that my body requires to just shut it all off, then it’s not good for me because it’s going to start to affect other thing.

Cause I’m constantly on, on mode instead of off mode. Right. Totally makes sense. So like, so, because you’re talking about like stress affecting  the sleep and all that, and mental wellbeing. Is it doing anything until our brain? Like, should we be aware of that? Is this stress any changes in our brains and how the brain works?

Hiidoon Muili: [00:09:03] For sure. Surely, surely, surely it does affect our brains. So stress leaves the longterm effects on our brains in the sense that, like I said earlier, your brain doesn’t shut up. So  you remain in a hypervigilant state. I think that’s the best term to refer to that. So you’re constantly vigilant. Your brain is constantly looking for that stress and that danger.

Where’s it coming from? Is it coming from here? Is it coming from there? You may not physically be aware that you’re doing this, but you can’t deceive the mind. So the mind is constantly scanning the horizon, looking, checking for the danger, checking for the danger. Where is it coming from? And so it starts to affect your digestive system as well.

It starts to affect your nervous system. You get rattled easily, you get irritable, you know, little sounds trigger you, you know. Things like that -and it keeps just adding on and adding on and adding on. And basically when your brain doesn’t shut down and it’s constantly working, endorphins and you know, all the feel good hormones that you have are kind of shut down.

So at that time, you know, usually at the time that you’re expecting this danger, your body’s shutting down happy emotions, shutting down digestive, shutting down all, other the main body functions, because you need to focus on that fight or flight.

So if you’re constantly in that state, your brain is constantly charged up, your brain is constantly working, and you just can’t come back to-  emotional regulation basically. It’s off. So you can’t be emotionally regulated, just constantly in the state of Go! Go! Go! Go!

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:10:49] And the people around you are not going to be liking you. You are irritabl,  sounds bother you. Please get rid of this person! My husband, is like I think you need a break right now. Go out to just do something.

Hiidoon Muili: [00:11:12] Well, there’s lots of things like that. When you start to get people around, you saying things like that, it means they’re kind of noticing that something was not quite right.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:11:25] Okay. Alright. Cause we’ll be talking about sleep, right. Sleep is such a big deal. It’s it’s associated with so many like diseases and stuff like that. Right. So how much sleep do we need per night? Is there like a number or you see the quality or the quantity?

Hiidoon Muili: [00:11:42] You know, generally, um, sleep. We all need sleep.

That’s, you know, that’s a baseline for everyone. We all need sleep. However, uh, sleep needs are generally determined by several factors. And the most important part is validating your human makeup. So some people, I know a few people who have survived consistently for a few years that I’ve known them, tend to survive or do very well on five hours or four hours of sleep. And if you make them sleep longer, it affects them. You know, some people just can’t sleep. So I guess that, so that has to do with the biological makeup it has to do with just the way they create they’re recreated. However, generally the CDC recommends that people monitor or observe or maintain a certain number of hours of sleep per night.

And it’s usually based on age. So typically for a 13 to 18 year old will benefit from about eight to ten  hours of sleep every night, and anyone who’s between 18 and about 60, which is usually the productive years, seven hours, anything from seven should do. So the minimum really should,be seven hours. So for 13 to 18 years, It is 10 hours minimum, which is, I know wishful thinking,

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:13:13] Tell my teenagers that, right?

Hiidoon Muili: [00:13:14] Yes. And then for the productive years, about seven hours minimum, however, as we grow older as well, sleep needs tend to reduce just because the older you get in a lot of cases, the less active you are. And the more you tend to do those during the day here and there you get quick naps here and there. And so at night you’re not that tired anymore. So you probably don’t speak so much, but it’s still recommended that all the adults maintain about seven hours of sleep nightly. Now, the problem comes with the teenagers who we expect to sleep into 10 us are so busy doing things that they shouldn’t be doing that bedtime. And so their sleep is reduced and you know, it just gets downhill from there.

So in that age group, they are typically more on their phones. It’s harder to get them to, you know, put away their phones and go to bed. They are chatting at 2:00 AM, 3:00 AM. And of course that affects their sleep cycle. Coupled with the fact that they have books, you know, their school, whether it’s online or face to face right now, they’re still, you know, the school demands.

And so we are seeing in the mental health, fields that a lot of teenagers, uh, you know, are developing mental health issues. Um, one of the biggest factors is the fact that they are not getting enough sleep. Makes sense. Yeah.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:14:44] That just hit home right now. Makes sense. My kids, they get upset that we take their phones away from them at night. So I can understand because you know, people, they don’t like it. They don’t like it because they don’t get to chat with their friends. So yes, that totally makes sense. All right. Okay. So, because I’m like one of those people that I cannot sleep for so long, and if you like, it’s like, what’s wrong. Like, am I sick?  I know other people they can sleep for long. 

It’s just, I guess it’s like the quality of the sleep, right? Like how do you feel when you wake up? Like not how long did I sleep, but how did I feel? How, how well rested do I feel that I get up? Right?

Hiidoon Muili: [00:15:35] Absolutely. Absolutely. So the quality, so as much as the CDC is recommending a certain number of hours for people to see the quality does matter.

So if you sleep for 10 hours and you wake up. And you’re not rested, then the quality has been compromised. So you are not as energized as you should be going into your day, just because you’re not just, you know, refreshed as you should be. So for people like you, who don’t sleep a lot. You know, naturally, as long as you can be energized on the few hours that you can get, I would say that’s, that’s the optimum. That’s what we’re aiming for. There’s certain situations where people sleep too much. That’s associated with depression. Sometimes hypersomnia. Where people just sleep and sleep and sleep. That is not always normal or natural. You know, it’s not something that we want to encourage just because hyper song in itself may be a symptom of depression.

So if you’re around people who are sleeping too much, you may think, Oh, well, they just like to sleep, but sometimes you need to dig deeper. There may be something else. You know, because we depression, you know, there’s a loss of motivation and you just don’t want to wake up and face the world. And all you want to do is just stay in bed, rest and sleep, but you’re sleeping, but you’re not really resting because your brain is all over the place. So those are things also, we need to pay attention to.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:17:08] Oh, wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. That’s really good information right there. So thank you. Okay. So what can we do? We know we need to sleep well. What can we do to make sure that we get some restful sleep every night?

Hiidoon Muili: [00:17:22] Well, there’s several factors on several things that can help to improve sleep.  And I guess the, the, one of the biggest things that helps with sleep, even though in some people they say it’s counterproductive is exercise. Exercise helps. No matter what anybody says. So exercise, you know, some there’s a popular school of thinking or school of thought that feels that you only exercise when you want to lose weight.

If you don’t have a weight problem, why exercise? Right. But that’s a meat that needs to be challenged because everybody needs exercise. There’s an adage. Assess a body at sleep stays asleep or a body at rest stays at rest for the body. Emotions is emotion. So we need to be able to balance that. So if I buy this, I constantly rest and there’s no motion.

That also is a negative thing. So we want to be able to, to engage in exercise if no matter how light it is, we want to be able to exercise during the day because exercise in itself, apart from regulating your emotions and, you know, releasing those happy hormones, those endorphins apart from doing that, it also ties you out.

So when you exercise, then your body’s tired and then you can sleep or you want to get some rest, but if you’re not exercising and you know, Your body doesn’t really get tired. So it may be harder for you to sleep. If you have just been living around all day and you haven’t really challenged your body.

So exercise is very important. It promotes sleep. Secondly, there’s something known as sleep hygiene. So sleep hygiene means, you know, imbibing or implant, those practices that promote sleep is good, helpful sleep hygiene tips  may be turning off your phone about an hour to half an hour before you go to bed.

That way the disruption and, you know, just the mental work that goes with going through your phone is minimized. Your brain starts to take a break, you know, before you actually go down to lay down on sleep, sleeping in a room that is, you know, look that has no lights, so not a brightly lit room, but you know, low light and making the room comfortable and cozy enough.

So not too hot, not too cold, just the right temperature for you and difference. You know, some people want a room that’s extremely cold, someone, a room that’s wrong, but just ensuring that your room is, you know, conducive for sleep, you know, and then meditation, prayer. It’s one important thing. So if you have a skip a sleep routine where you know that I pray for 30 minutes, I pray for 15 minutes and then my body goes to sleep from there.

Your body starts to get you that schedule so when you start it is a signal to your body. That’s your winding down for the day. So helps you shut out the, you know, A lot of mental stimuli that you’ve had all day and your body starts to come the OSAT to focus more on, you know, being tired and shutting off eventually.

So that also helps then practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is just being. Aware of the now and the present being here. And now mindfulness is something we all need to practice at every time, but especially at bedtime. So you need to talk to yourself. It’s bedtime. Now I need to be asleep now. So my body needs to focus on here and now how am I feeling?

What am I seeing? How, what am I doing? Touch him, you know, just ground yourself. Be aware of it now. So those needle tips, just help, you know, but it’s not a magic bullet. It’s not, it doesn’t happen overnight, but you know, gradually your body still starts to get the signal and you come on down. Very good.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:21:27] Well, that was comprehensive. Thank you. Thank you. Sleep exercise. You want to sleep? Exercise, counter intuitive, but yes, it makes sense. Wow. That was very comprehensive. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Meditation people usually think meditation, you need to be doing something, but just prayer is a form of meditation.

That’s really good. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Alrighty. So we’ve talked a lot today and he has been a very, very productive conversation. I must say so myself. So what is one thing that you want to make sure that people take away from this conversation today? When you say kind of like blow up on every, every other stuff.

Hiidoon Muili: [00:22:08] Well, parting shots for me would be two main things. If you don’t remember anything else that we talked about today, do remember that stress, prolonged stress, chronic stress is bad for your health. It does nothing good for you. Prolonged stress does very bad things. Prolonged stress affects your digestive system. It affects your mental health. It affects your nervous system. It makes you even difficult to be around you. People don’t want to be around you. Cause you’re so grouchy because you’re so sleep deprived. So stress is something that we need to take care of. And if you have to see a mental health practitioner, please do.

If you need to see a therapist, if you need to talk to someone, take care of it. But we remain in a constant state of stress is so very bad for your health. That’s one. Secondly. Sleep and mental health are closely linked together. The more you take care of your sleep. The better overall your mental health becomes just because they are so closely linked.

The provision is very bad for the body because your brain needs time to shut down. And when you do not sleep enough, your brain cannot shut down like a cell phone that, you know, sometimes you have to just shut it down. So we started and it fixes itself though. Our brains are like that. So if we can’t shut down, then we can’t, you know, reboot.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:23:42] Very good. Thank you so much. Thank you for all those tips. We are appreciate you. How can people get ahold of you after this show?

Hiidoon Muili: [00:23:59] Okay. Well, I practice in the Houston area and so anyone who’s around the Houston Metro area can contact me. I’ll have my phone number. I guess you can have it at the end of the show where they can reach out to me. Um, I have an email address that they can contact me at.

And I am on Instagram as Bloom child and family services (@bloomcfs) . So you can follow me. I live tips, the updates, you know, just little snippets here and there about mental health.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:24:41] Very good. So, is your, your counseling services available to only those in Houston? Is it the whole state of Texas?

Hiidoon Muili: [00:24:49] So you have online services too. I see. Just the face. Well, I haven’t so set up the online service. One of the good things about the pandemic. That’s not to say the pandemic is a good thing, but one of the good things about the pandemic is the fact that we now know that we can offer services virtually, and we don’t have to see each other face to face, you know, to help each other. So I’m in the process of setting up, you know, my online services so I can reach people who are outside the Houston area, but for now I mostly see people face to face.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:25:25] That’s what I wanted to hear because like everything in this day and age, we doing it online. And if we can help and reach so many people online, why not? Why not? So thank you so much. It was a pleasure having you on the show. I learned a lot, so everybody, I hope you also got a chance to learn a few things from Ms Hiidoon.

Make sure you turn on your notification and subscribe to our channel. So you don’t miss an episode. Alrighty. Bye bye.

Ending: [00:25:57] Thank you for listening and sharing your precious time with us. If you enjoy the show, then follow us and subscribe on iTunes, YouTube, or any app that carires podcasts. Have an awesome week. With best wishes to see you thrive.