5 Sleep Tips That Can Help With Depression
Do you feel low and depressed the entire day? Wondering if this feeling could be resulting from your sleeping habits?
It is entirely possible for a person to feel low and hopeless after a night of no sleep or poor quality sleep. Even the other way around is correct. Most clinically depressed people prefer to be asleep rather than stay awake during the day. They consume sleeping pills to fall asleep at night, and drugs like alcohol for physical comfort, which matters worse. This post is intended to share with you some sleep tips that can help with depression.
The Relationship Between Sleep and Depression
Before we dive into the quick and easy tips to improve your sleep and mental health, let’s look into the relation between sleep and depression. Are they even connected?
Yes! There is scientific-evidence that both sleep and depression are closely connected. According to the Harvard Mental Health Letter, 50-80 percent of people in the United States who suffer from mental health conditions also carry one or more sleep disorders.
The report also states that sleep disorders are more common in patients with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
In some cases, a sleep disorder itself can lead to a mental health condition. Here, depression can be viewed as a symptom of a sleep disorder and not something present on its own.
Here Are the 5 Sleep Tips That Can Help You With Depression
1) Add an Exercise Routine to Your Daily Schedule
Regular exercise, whether it is a regulated activity like yoga or a mere 15 minutes walk down, can help treat both insomnia and depression. This is one of the rare sleep tips that can help you kill two birds with one stone (metaphorically speaking).
This is how exercise can improve your sleep quality: Think about how tired and jaded you felt at the end of a long day at work. Particularly, when your job involves physical labor or a lot of legwork. You can just fall asleep within seconds of lying down on the bed.
When you exercise or indulge in some sort of physical activity during the day, your brain releases a hormone known as serotonin. This neurotransmitter is heavily involved in the process of regulation of sleep/wake cycle.
Likewise, exercise also prompts the brain to release another happy chemical known as endorphin. Endorphins are known to offset the chemical triggers of depression. In addition to that, you also feel a sense of accomplishment after performing an exercise routine.
2) Sleep Hygiene
Sleep hygiene is a term used to describe habits and practices that lead to better sleep health. For instance, an individual is said to have poor sleep hygiene when they lay on the bed watching TV shows when they are supposed to go to sleep, remain glued to their phone, or eat more than needed before bedtime.
The whole purpose of better sleep hygiene is to indulge in activities that will make you feel tired at bedtime and energetic on waking up in the morning. In conclusion, better sleep hygiene helps you regulate your sleep/wake cycle.
3) Make Positive Lifestyle Changes
Did you know that even small–seemingly insignificant– change in your lifestyle can have a significant impact in your life. Having said that, I understand why some people are reluctant to make modifications in their life. It can be cumbersome. However, this is only the case when a major overhaul is needed. By adding a small bedtime routine to your daily schedule, you can vastly improve the quality of your sleep.
4) Learn to Go out and Socialize
Loneliness and social isolation are two of the significant reasons behind depression. It can also be challenging to fall asleep when you are all alone and have no one to share your life with. Even if you don’t have a loved one nearby, you can seek emotional help from social groups or a local social circle. Just remember not to be honest about your reasons to join the group.
5) Find out the Real Cause of Your Mental Health Issues
It is excellent if you can seek help from a mental health counselor. A trained professional knows how to help individuals like you as they deal with such cases regularly. However, not everyone feels comfortable with sharing personal information with a stranger. Particularly, when the information is sensitive. In such a scenario, you can still find out the real cause behind your mental health condition by being introspective and inner-directed.
These are the best sleep tips to help you deal with a mental health condition like depression or melancholy. All of the above tips are science-backed. You can try them out today and let me know how it went via a quick comment below.