How You Can Use Sleep to Relieve Your Depression Symptoms
We all feel a little sad and down on occasion; it’s all part of being human. For most of us, feelings of sadness will arise because of an event, such as a loved one passing or missing out on a promotion at work. However, for people with depression, feelings of sadness are not a temporary condition. Instead, they are lingering and persistent.
Depression is a serious mental health issue that can be all-pervasive in a person’s life. It can keep them lying in bed despite the dire risk to their employment. Depression can also negatively impact appetite, deliver a never-ending barrage of negative thoughts, and affect sleep in myriad ways.
People experience depression differently, so treatments vary from person to person. Some may respond to therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy, while others do better with medications such as antidepressants to help them cope with their symptoms.
The benefits of depression therapies are the topic of many debates, but what all mental health professionals agree on is the ability of a healthy sleep schedule to help with symptoms of depression, whether mild or severe.
Sleep and mental illness such as depression have a complicated relationship. Some people find that depression makes it impossible to sleep, keeping them up all hours of the night. Others will struggle to wake and get out of bed. It’s different for everyone, but everyone should strive to improve the healthy sleep they get when they have depression. Here are a few tips you can use to help you get more sleep and find some relief from your depression symptoms.
Create a Sleep Sanctuary
A bedroom should be a sleep sanctuary. Turning your bedroom into a distraction-free zone will mean blocking out as much light as possible and leaving phones, tablets, and computers in another room. There should be no blinking red lights, and thick curtains will drastically cut out any light entering through the windows, such as a streetlight or the moon.
Some neighborhoods are noisy at all hours, so if you are sensitive, you can try a white noise generator to drown out these distracting sounds. And don’t forget how conducive a high-quality mattress is to sleep.
If sleep still eludes you despite your best efforts, it’s important not to stress while tossing and turning all night. Get up and move to another room. Read a book under low light or listen to peaceful music. If you turn on any lights, make sure you employ blue light filters, so you don’t prevent melatonin production (a hormone that triggers sleep).
When you feel ready, return to your bedroom to sleep. Stick to this routine, and your brain will begin to associate your bedroom with nothing but sleep. Eventually, you should have fewer issues with falling asleep.
Create a Sleep Schedule
Sticking to a strict waking and sleeping schedule might be a tough call when dealing with severe depression. However, the benefits of going to sleep and waking at the same time every day cannot be understated.
You will wake more quickly in the morning and feel more refreshed and focused during the day. Studies have shown that bedtime schedules have just as much influence on sleep quality as getting the same hours every day. The human mind performs better with routines and keeping a regular sleep schedule will help you ward off lethargy.
Develop a Bedtime Routine
As bedtime approaches, make sure you don’t start or are involved in any stressful activities or projects. About an hour before bedtime is an excellent time to start unwinding. Avoid devices with screens or use blue light filters to mitigate the stimulating influence of blue light. Viewing social media or watching dramas on TV may increase your stress levels. Stick to light, entertaining reading, and stay away from the news.
Get Some Exercise Every Day
People with depression almost always report how beneficial exercise is for reducing their symptoms. It can certainly help when you are trying to develop a sleep routine. Physical activity releases endorphins, which is a type of natural antidepressant that can improve your mood. Exercise does not have to be complicated. A yoga class, tennis, gardening, or walking for just 20 minutes a day a few times a week is usually enough to do the trick.
Get Some Sun Every Day
Depression can put up obstacles to going outside because you just want to hide away from the world and avoid everybody. You should fight against the feeling and force yourself outdoors. Sunlight can do you a world of good. For starters, we all need sunlight for the Vitamin D it produces. Vitamin D is a known mood enhancer. Plus, the sun helps to stabilize our circadian rhythm, which is a critical component of making sure you are tired at bedtime. If getting outside seems impossible, then open the curtains and soak up the warmth and sunlight for a short while.
Coping with depression can be challenging. The above tips may look simple on the surface, but when the black dog of depression weighs you down, even these simple steps can be tough to accomplish.
If depression is stopping you from living your life, it’s essential you know that you don’t have to go through it alone. Get in touch with a mental health professional and start discussing how you can make your way back to good health and a more positive outlook today. For more information, visit here: Depression Treatment