Sleep is one of my biggest issues and I know it is both affected by my depression and affects my depression. Here I’ll go over some information about the link between the two.
Depression is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.
Sleep is a natural recurring state of rest in which the body and mind are inactive. Sleep is a biological necessity, and it is essential for good health. When you sleep, your body repairs itself and your mind processes the day’s events.
Depression and sleep are closely connected. People with depression often have problems sleeping. They may have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up too early. They may also have restless sleep or feel tired during the day.
How depression can affect sleep
Depression can affect sleep in a number of ways. People with depression may:
- Have trouble falling asleep
- Wake up during the night and have trouble falling back asleep
- Wake up too early in the morning
- Feel tired during the day
- Have restless sleep
- Snore loudly
- Have sleep apnea (a breathing disorder that occurs during sleep)
How sleep can affect depression
Lack of sleep can also worsen symptoms of depression. People who don’t get enough sleep may:
- Feel more irritable
- Have trouble concentrating
- Be more forgetful
- Have low self-esteem
- Have suicidal thoughts
Tips for improving sleep for people with depression
If you are struggling with depression and sleep, there are a number of things you can do to improve your sleep habits. These include:
- Establish a regular sleep schedule and stick to it as much as possible, even on weekends.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine. This could include taking a warm bath, reading a book or listening to calming music.
- Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet and cool.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed.
- Get regular exercise, but avoid exercising too close to bedtime.
- See a doctor if you have trouble sleeping despite making changes to your sleep habits.
Getting enough sleep is important for everyone, but it is especially important for people with depression. When you are well-rested, you are better able to cope with the symptoms of depression and manage your overall health. If you are struggling with depression and sleep, please talk to your doctor. There are effective treatments available that can help you get the sleep you need.