Journal About Your Worries
If your worries or repetitive negative thoughts arent going away with relaxation strategies, find a notebook and write down the troubling thoughts. This contains the thoughts that might keep you awake as your brain goes over them again and again.
You might even designate a bit of time before bedtime as your designated worry time, so you can really clear your mind.
Depression And Sleep: Understanding The Connection
Depression and sleep problems are closely linked. People withinsomnia, for example, may have a tenfold higher risk of developing depression thanpeople who get a good nights sleep. And among people with depression, 75percent have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.
Which comes first? Either one can be the starting point, says Johns Hopkins sleep researcher Patrick H. Finan, Ph.D. Poor sleep may create difficulties regulating emotions that, in turn, may leave you more vulnerable to depression in the futuremonths or even years from now. And depression itself is associated with sleep difficulties such as shortening the amount of restorative slow-wave sleep a person gets each night.
If you have depression , daily stressessuch as financial worries, an argument with your spouse, or a jam-packed evening commutecould also lead to more nighttime wake-ups and more trouble getting back to sleep than someone without depression would experience.
Understanding the relationship between insomnia and depression can help you spot risks early, get the right help, and recover more fully if you are experiencing both. Youll feel healthy, well-rested, and able to enjoy life again. Heres what you need to know about depression and sleep:
Spending Extra Time In Bed In The Morning
I lie in bed in the morning and think about the things I should be grateful for I have so much, fortunately. I have a strong relationship with my husband and he helps me through this. Dona D.
I just lie in bed all day and stay in my pajamas. I often even dont take showers for days because its just easier not to. Jalisha J.
Even when I wake up early, I have to spend time still in bed before I can get up. I need the time to curb the anxieties and rally as best as I can for the day. Phaedra M.
If you can relate, check out this list of 24 things you can do when depression keeps you in bed.
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Getting Back On Track
If oversleeping is a symptom of depression, its most important to see a healthcare provider for treatment of that depression. And even if someone is being treated for depression, the sleep difficulties can be residual. Sleep can remain a struggle because its developed a life of its own and become very habitual, she says.
Dr. Drerup does have a few suggestions on how you can avoid falling into bad sleep habits that could exacerbate the sleep situation. These techniques can make a huge difference for people when they implement behavioral changes like this because the mood symptoms arent impairing them.
If people can get out of bed and get a more consistent start to their day, it can make their day better, Dr. Drerup says. They feel like they can be more productive and get more accomplished. And it can help improve their mood and allow them to make other changes over time that helps increase more pleasurable activities and engaging with people instead of the oversleeping and avoidance of interactions.
Hands off the snooze button
This may not be a popular idea given how much its a ritual for so many of us. But Dr. Drerup points out that repeatedly hitting the snooze button doesnt really help you. When you hit the snooze button and you doze for those short seven or eight minute increments, youre getting brief, fragmented sleep periods. You may think youre gradually becoming more alert but really youre developing sleep inertia and your body wants to stay asleep.
How Could Mental Health Problems Affect My Sleep
If you live with a mental health problem, this could affect your sleep in lots of ways. For example:
- Anxiety can cause racing or repetitive thoughts, and worries that keep you awake. You may also have panic attacks while you’re trying to sleep.
- Depression and seasonal affective disorder can make you sleep more, including staying in bed for longer or sleeping more often. Depression can also cause insomnia.
- If you’ve gone through trauma, this can cause flashbacks, nightmares or night terrors that disturb your sleep. You might feel unsafe or uncomfortable in bed or in the dark.
- Paranoia and psychosis may make it difficult to sleep. You may hear voices, or see things you find frightening or disturbing.
- Mania often causes feelings of energy and elation, so you might not feel tired or want to sleep. Racing thoughts can also keep you awake and cause insomnia.
- Psychiatric medication can cause side effects including insomnia, disturbed sleep, nightmares and oversleeping. Stopping psychiatric drugs can also cause sleep problems.
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Put Your Feet On The Floor One Foot At A Time
Pull one foot out from beneath the covers and place it on the floor. Then bring the other one down to meet it. Just by standing on your own two feet, you can awaken your body and mind to begin the day. It can also be harder to get back into bed once you are physically outside of it! Putting your feet on the floor prompts your mind that thereâs a full day ahead of you. The act of putting your feet on the floor in the morning is a metaphor for the little steps you will later take throughout the day, as well as the mental progressions you take each day to feel a little better.
Coping With Sleep Disturbances During Depression
Dealing with sleep disturbances when youre feeling depressed can seem like a vicious circle. The more depressed you feel, the harder it is to sleep. And the more exhausted you feel, the harder it is to fight depression.
It can feel like theres no way to break the cycle. And its frustrating to feel tired yet be unable to fall or stay asleep. Here’s what you should know about the relationship between sleep disturbances and depression.
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Dont Be Afraid To Turn To Someone Else For Help
If your depression is more severe or not being able to get out of bed is becoming a chronic problem, dont be afraid to ask for help.
Do you live with someone? Do you have a friend or co-worker on the same work schedule as you? Dont be afraid to ask them to be a part of your routine.
If you live with someone, ask them to come in and wake you or maybe sit with you. It can be anything from making coffee in the morning or making sure youre out of bed before they leave for work.
Or reach out to a co-worker, if youre comfortable with that. Someone on the same work schedule may be able to call you when you need to get out of bed in the morning. Five minutes of encouraging wake-up chatter can put you in a better mood for the day ahead.
Most people are compassionate and open to helping. You dont have to share your entire mental health history for them to understand something is going on. Just acknowledging its a difficult time can be enough.
It can be hard to ask for help initially, so remember this: You are not a burden and those who love or care for you will likely be happy to help.
Let Your Hunger Be Your Guide
On the days when youre struggling, think about breakfast or coffee, if youre not hungry in the mornings.
Fantasizing about what youll eat first thing can give you something to anticipate, and youll have to leave bed to go get it. Eventually, your growling belly might be enough motivation to get you moving.
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Establish A Morning Routine You Enjoy
From our sleep habits to work life, we naturally thrive on schedules. If youre constantly feeling like you must drag yourself out of bed every day, that mental mindset might be contributing to why its so hard to get up in the first place. These negative thoughts can hold you back immensely and, in some cases, make your depressive symptoms worse.
Instead of focusing on those negative thoughts, which can ultimately lead to a stressed and rushed morning where youre constantly feeling behind, try creating a routine that you can find joy in.
Whether its meditating in the morning, doing a quick 10-minute stretch, making a fun breakfast, getting outside for a walk, or even getting a full 30-to-60 minute cardio workout in, giving yourself something you enjoy to look forward to might make it easier for you to begin your day.
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When you live with bipolar disorder, going to therapy consistently is necessary but not always easy. It is difficult to find a therapist you not only feel comfortable with, but someone you can trust with some of the most personal parts of your life. It is like telling a stranger your deepest secrets and hoping they don’t use it against you. This is the type of mentality I had for years, but that was until I found the right therapist.
I Take My Children To The Beach For Walks Or To The Playground Because Then I Will Get Some Light And That Improves My Mood Peter Patient
Peters depression has seen him hospitalised six times, including for a month last April. In some ways being in hospital is a relief, he says. However, he feels guilty about the effect it has on his sons, aged seven and nine. My youngest boy said he cried every night I was in hospital, because I wasnt there to hug him.
So when Martiny told Peter about the study he had just started recruiting for, he readily agreed to participate. Dubbed circadian-reinforcement therapy, the idea is to strengthen peoples circadian rhythms by encouraging regularity in their sleep, wake, meal and exercise times, and pushing them to spend more time outdoors, exposed to daylight.
For four weeks after leaving the psychiatric ward in May, Peter wore a device that tracked his activity and sleep, and he completed regular mood questionnaires. If there was any deviation in his routine, he would receive a phone call to find out what had happened.
When I meet Peter, we joke about the tan lines around his eyes obviously hes been taking the advice seriously. He laughs: Yes, Im getting outdoors to the park, and if its nice weather, I take my children to the beach, for walks, or to the playground, because then I will get some light, and that improves my mood.
Not Cleaning Your Home For Months At A Time
Much like the daunting task of taking a shower vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning can seem right out of the question. Apathy is a common feeling with depression. Some depressed people may not even feel worthy of a clean living environment.
Apathy can numb our senses and erase rotten smells, because we think we belong with the trash. Or we think we can do it later, because we figure the depressive episode might pass. Depression takes up so much of our energy emotional and physical that we have to choose how we use it and sometimes that leaves cleaning at the bottom of the priority list.
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Why Am I Depressed Only At Night
As one of the most common mood disorders, major depression can develop in anyone, at any age, at any time. For some people, symptoms of depression may be worse at night, leading to difficulty in getting to sleep, anxiety, and feelings of isolation and hopelessness. Others may have depression in the morning, which is called diurnal mood variation.
Find A Reason To Get Out Of Bed
If routines you enjoy can help motivate you, finding a fun or exciting reason to get out of bed in the morning might help even more. Maybe its a special breakfast or treating yourself to a fancy cup of coffee on the way into the office.
Giving yourself a reason to get up is always a good motivator. Positive reinforcement can be a great influencer and help you break the hold that I cant get out of bed depression has on you.
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How To Help Someone Who May Be Experiencing Depression
If you are currently experiencing one or more of these symptoms, its okay to seek support. If you are having thoughts of suicide, call 303-492-2277 to access 24/7 crisis support from Counseling and Psychiatric Services .
If you notice a roommate, friend or classmate experiencing any of these symptoms, here are a few things you can do to help:
Living With Both Conditions Causes Intense Worrying
They may find themselves ruminating worrying about how they are ever going to get things done, how others might perceive them. They may worry that they will never feel better. Barbara Van Dahlen, a licensed clinical psychologist and the host of the podcast Inner Space with Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen
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Being Convinced Everyone Hates You
In life, some people will like you and some people will not. This is normal, right? In a healthy mindset, most people will accept the positives with the negatives. But depression is like the devil on your shoulder, whispering until people hate themselves and are convinced that everyone else hates them too.
Depression points out every tiny, perceived, possible slight and uses this as evidence that everyone hates you. This perception of hate tends to make people with depression feel even more depressed.
Dont Disregard The Classics Try An Alarm
Go back to the classics. Set an alarm or a whole slurry of annoying alarms and put your phone or clock out of your reach.
Youll have to get up to shut it off. While its easy to just climb into bed again, if you have multiple alarms set, by the third one youll probably just be like, FINE! IM UP!
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Shine A Little Light On It: Light Therapy
Everyones different. But the thing that really turned me around from someone curled into a ball of depression and hopelessness to sitting up in bed was light therapy.
Bright light therapy is often recommended for people with major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern or sleep disorders.
More research is still needed, but evidence suggests it may have the potential to help people with depression and have antidepressant-like qualities. My psychologist, and a few other experts Ive met, also recommend these lights for people with other types of nonseasonal depression.
Sitting in front of the light for a few moments is necessary to get your dose, meaning theres no need to jump out of bed immediately. As my eyes fight to even open, I usually lean over, turn on the little box of sunshine in my room and its sort of impossible to close them again.
I can check my phone or grab a cup of warm tea and come back to face the light for 20 minutes while still in bed. By the time thats over, Ive found Im ready to get up and start moving. My boyfriend also sits with me and says he feels more awake when he does.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the typical recommendation for seasonal depression is to use a 10,000-lux light box 16 to 24 inches from your face. Use it daily for about 20 to 30 minutes, preferably early in the morning after first waking up. Find a light box online.
Talk To A Mental Health Professional About Your Depression Treatment
Dont let your depression go on so long that it becomes debilitating. If youve tried all the tips weve given here today and youve talked to a friend or loved one about how youre feeling, you should be proud. However, if you still cant seem to shake your depression, and being depressed in bed is becoming something that interferes with your daily life, you should consider talking to a mental health professional.
A doctor or therapist can help you come up with a new depression treatment plan or adjust your current one to help you manage depression. Make sure that youre communicating with them so they know how severe your depression has become. They can help you better understand what type of depression youre dealing with or if other mental health conditions are affecting your energy levels.
It might be something as simple as adjusting the dosage or type of medication for depression youre on, or it could also be a matter of finding the right combination of therapy and medication.
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You Often Avoid Practicing Basic Self
Often times, I like to refer to the mix of depression and anxiety as the beast. This is the voice in our head, the feelings in our body, which tells us to do the complete opposite of the positive actions we need to be doing for ourselves and our self-care. For example, if you need to get out of bed, brush your teeth, take a shower, get dressed for work, get your papers together and go, the beast of anxiety and depression is telling you to do the complete opposite every step of the way.
Here is where we must do everything opposite of what the beast wants. If it means simply rolling out of bed and onto the floor or making it to the couch, at least youre not letting it control every step of the way. These small behavioral shifts actually help us in feeling better. Katie Sandler, 33, an impact coach in Fort Lauderdale