3 Tips for Better Sleep With Clinical Depression

Is depression affecting your sleep?

3 Tips for Better Sleep With Clinical Depression

By Depression Connect StaffA Published at January 30, 2018 Views 6,270

An offset sleep schedule is among the many physical symptoms of depression. But the relationship between this mood disorder and sleep is complex: Depression can cause bedtime problems such as insomnia, but trouble sleeping can also enhance depression symptoms by toying with your body's circadian rhythm. As Dr. Prashant Gajwani, an associate psychiatry and behavioral sciences professor at the University of Texas Medical School, told EverydayHealth, the two can fuel each other in a dangerous way.

"Depression is a brain illness, and it affects many types of brain functions, including the sleep-wake cycle," Gajwani said. "Once this biologic clock has been disturbed, it can make sleep even more irregular and that adds to the depression. It can become a vicious cycle for many people."

But suffering from depression doesn't mean you're condemned to a life of tossing and turning at night followed by tired mornings. Alter your sleeping habits with these health-improving ways to a better night's rest:

Exercise outdoors

Engaging in regular physical activity is the most straightforward natural way to relieve stress, which is often responsible for keeping people up at night. Indoor exercise can be beneficial for those with clinical depression, but try to head outdoors to soak up some sunlight while you get a workout - the vitamin D will help keep your melatonin levels balanced and you circadian rhythm healthy. Outdoor activities such as hiking, volleyball at the beach and kayaking are fun ways to get moving. You might even consider joining a softball or other sports team, which will provide you with exercise while helping you make new friends. Take note that engaging in brisk physical activity too close to bedtime can make falling asleep difficult - aim to complete your exercises at least four hours before slumbering.

Adjust your sleep space

In general, people sleep better when their bedrooms are cool, dark and quiet, and this is especially important for those with clinical depression. That means turning the television off, flicking the light switch and turning on a fan or air conditioner if it's hot out. You can utilize blinds or curtains to block out light, and take advantage of a white noise machine to drown out any sounds that might distract you from sleeping. If you often find yourself waking up with a sore back or stiff neck, you may want to invest in a comfortable mattress that gently supports you and contours to your body's needs.

Develop a sleep ritual

Falling asleep to your favorite late-night sitcom does not make for a healthy sleep ritual. In fact, you will benefit greatly from shutting off the television well before bedtime. Watching the tube at night provides mental stimulation that can keep you up late even after you've retired to your bed. You can make drifting off to dreamland easier by sticking to the same calming routine every evening. Go to bed at the same time each night, allowing yourself at least an hour beforehand to unwind. Use this time to listen to soothing music, meditate, read a book or sip a cup of tea while pondering your future goals - whatever activity works best to ease your nerves and prepare your mind and body for slumber.

To learn more about depression and sleep:

How to Beat Stress-Induced Insomnia
When Depression and Insomnia Collide
Choose the Right Foods to Fight Depression

  • Share
    Email Email
    Print Print Twitter Twitter
    Facebook Facebook

Comments (No comments)

Add your comment Reply Down
Hide the Social Toolbar Show the Social Toolbar