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How Can I sleep Better if I have Depression?

3 June 2016
 

An interesting article recently suggested that depression may be helped if individuals can get a better quality of sleep

 

Read more of the article below:

According to recent studies, nearly 80% of people diagnosed with depression have trouble falling asleep and/or staying asleep. Until recently, insomnia was viewed as a symptom to depression when in fact, they are two distinct disorders.
Those who suffer from depression can actually be helped by improving their overall quality of sleep. Recent studies have shown that treating sleep problems can ease depressive symptoms and even prevent relapses. By treating both insomnia and the depression, patients were able to drastically improve their overall quality of their mental health and sleep.
If you suffer from depression and have sleeping difficulties, here are some sleep tips to help you get better sleep.
  • Do something fun each day; whether you feel like it or not.
  • Get up and move. When your body is inactive, it makes you feel tired and drained. Get up, go for a walk, do some stretches or light exercises.
  • Be less critical of yourself and don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself.
  • Be open to learning new things about yourself and others.
  • If you take a prescription antidepressant, determine if your medication is contributing to your sleep problems. If this is the case, ask your medical professional for alternative medications that don’t cause sleep issues.
  • Get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Best exercises include walking, hiking, swimming, light to moderate weight training and yoga.
  • Use a consistent noise device like a fan, white noise generator or humidifier.
  • Make sure your mattress and pillows properly support your sleep style (back, side or stomach).
  • Use a nightly bedtime sleep routine. Start the routine at least one hour before you go to bed. (Include relaxing activities like reading, meditating, yoga or similar activities that don’t over stimulate your body or mind.)
  • Increase your exposure to sunlight during the day. Try to get at least 20 minutes of direct sunlight each day. This will boost melatonin production later in the evening and may help give you more energy during the day.
  • Utilize physical, mental and emotional quick and full sleep hacks to help calm and relax your mind and body.
  • Try listening to a guided meditation to help you clear your mind and relax.
  • Try deep breathing exercises or progressive muscle relaxation hacks to release tension in your body.
  • Avoid the use of any caffeine products after 2pm.
  • Avoid the use of alcohol or nicotine products.
  • Use your bedroom only for sleep or sex. (Don’t use your bedroom for non-sleep-promoting activities like reading, surfing the internet, texting, emailing or phone calls. Do these activities somewhere else besides the bedroom.)
  • Make your bedroom as dark as possible by using blackout curtains or drapes.
  • Avoid all electronic devices within one hour of bedtime. (This includes TV, cell phone, computer, laptop, tablet and other electronic devices.)
  • Focus on the sleep outcome you want, rather than the process. If you focus on the process and all of the “how-to’s,” you may feel overwhelmed and bogged down in the process.
Above all, maintain a positive attitude about your sleep, regardless if you are having sleep problems or not.
Final Thoughts
By treating both insomnia and the depression, people are able to drastically improve their overall quality of their mental health and sleep. If you suffer from depression and have sleeping difficulties, try the above sleep tips and find what works best for you. Above all, maintain a positive attitude about your sleep and keep moving forward towards better sleep.
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