When it comes to managing depression, you must get a fair amount of sleep at night. Resting well like this gives you more energy and allows you to have a better view of life, focusing on the positive side of things.
This is because there’s more to sleeping than just resting. Deep sleep helps you recharge your body system to fight different sicknesses to keep you healthy. You could sleep deeply enough to a point where you dream, and your ability to learn things and remember them gets a boost. This does a lot of good for your emotional state. When you don’t sleep enough, it alters your brain chemistry, and it becomes more challenging for you to manage your feelings and prevents you from thinking clearly. This takes away your drive to do things and can give you mood swings.
What is depression?
Depression is the feeling of hopelessness, disappointment, and sadness persisting every day for two weeks or more and is related to depressive disorder (mood disorders). On their own, these feelings are healthy reactions to life challenges, but when they persist, it’s depression.
Depression and sleep both affect the brain with opposite effects, so one will strongly affect the other.
The link between depression and sleep
According to Assignment Masters, the very first sign of depression is a problem with sleeping. These two are so closely knitted that you can hardly pull them apart. You could be experiencing poor sleep because of your depression, or you are depressed because you’ve had poor sleep for too many nights.
For depression, you could find it very difficult to fall asleep at night or wake up intermittently throughout the night. The amount of time that you spend sleeping through different stages can also change drastically. When you put all of this together, it can become a difficult cycle to break out from.
Poor sleeping habits make it harder to treat depression. When you have sleeping problems, common depression treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and drugs may not work. When they work, it will only be temporary as the depression will come back within a short while if you don’t find a way to deal with your sleep problems. While a doctor can help you deal with both sleep problems and depression, there are lifestyle modifications and habits that you can also practice to improve your sleep.
Tips to help you sleep better
You can improve your sleep by creating a good sleeping habit and sticking to it. It doesn’t matter if you’re depressed or not; good sleep is always good for the body. However, if you’re suffering from depression, then you need to start practicing these habits.
Prepare the stage for early sleep: there’s more to sleep at night than the activities you do at the time. You can do more during the day to boost your night sleep. Here are some activities that you can do during the day to help you sleep well at night:
- Go outside: staying all day indoors won’t help you in this regard. Getting some sunlight will help your natural rhythm for sleeping and waking remain on track.
- Exercise: daily exercise helps you sleep well at night, and you’ll also wake up the next day feeling refreshed and re-energized. However, it would be best if you only exercise during the day (morning and afternoon). Doing tedious physical activities around your bedtime will keep you awake for a few more hours.
- Have a time set for your meals every day, and avoid taking spicy or heavy meals around your bedtime.
- Take a nap of about 30 minutes in the afternoon.
- Limit your intake of caffeine, alcohol, and smoking.
Think cozy: make sure that your room is cool, and your bed is comfortable. This should be number one. Additionally, you can take these measures:
- The only thing you do in your bedroom is just sleep.
- Take away all forms of electronics and light from the room. Otherwise, their light can affect your melatonin levels, which is an important sleep hormone.
- Make sure that the room is as quiet as possible. It will help if you don’t have things like laptops, phones, radios, or other devices that beep, ding, or buzz in the room.
- Go dark with heavy curtains.
Have a bedtime routine: as you get ready to sleep, you should know that boring is the best, especially if you’re sleeping to reduce depression. You can try out the following:
- Set a time for you to go to bed and wake up in the morning every day, including weekends. Keep it within 30 minutes difference within both ends.
- Take your time (up to an hour) to chill out just before you go to bed. Have a shower, read a book, listen to calm music, and turn down the lights.
- Don’t discuss things that stress you out with anybody just before you go to bed.
- Try out a relaxation technique of your choice. Deep breathing and meditation are good suggestions as they help to keep the mind calm.
Often, people that are suffering from depression suffer from sleeping problems too. Depression and sleeping problems work hand in hand. If you’re depressed, you’ll find it hard to fall asleep at night and even remain asleep throughout the night. You can also suffer from sleeping too much or excessive daytime sleepiness.
In the same way, your depression can be exacerbated by your sleep problems. This can bring about a negative cycle between sleep and depression that becomes very difficult for you to break free from. For many people, insufficient sleep may be the cause of their depression.
Having a good sleeping habit will go a long way in helping you recover from depression. That’s why you must understand the relationship that exists between depression and sleep. This will guide you in taking the right step to improve your sleep quality and help you manage your depression and recover from it.
Written by Leon Collier
About the Author
Leon Collier is a blogger from the UK who loves to write about everything: pop-culture, history, travel, self-development, education, and marketing. When I need cheap assignment help or I have to pay someone to do the assignment, he always gives me a hand. You don’t have to pay for a research paper a lot. When Leon is not writing, you can find him behind a book or playing tabletop games with his friends on Saturday night. Follow him on Twitter @LeonCollier12.
You may also like