Frequent, restful sleep is crucial, not just to each person’s survival, but also to one’s sense of well-being. When a person is getting enough sleep they are likely to feel ready to face each day, and capable of handling any obstacles in their path. But when sleep becomes disordered, getting through each day becomes far more difficult.

Getting through the day is even harder when sleep is complicated by mental health issues such as depression. A depressed person is likely to find themselves sleeping either far too much or far too little, neither of which is healthy for the body and mind. These sleep patterns tend to exacerbate depressive symptoms, which in turn can make sleep problems even worse. Without intervention, it can become a vicious cycle of poor sleep and spiraling mental health.

Sleep problems associated with depression most commonly manifest as insomnia, or the inability to fall asleep and stay asleep (though in some cases the insomnia itself may trigger a depressive episode). According to an NCBI sleep study, people with insomnia are significantly more likely to have clinical depression and anxiety than those who sleep well. Difficulty falling asleep, and awakening frequently throughout the night, are clearly related to increased depression.

The relationship between disordered sleep and depression is complex and intertwined. Chronic exhaustion makes it tremendously difficult for depressed people to make the lifestyle changes that are necessary to alleviate their mood disorder, which can lead to feeling stuck and hopeless. But there is always hope! By focusing on the restful sleep part of the equation, those with depression can take an important step towards improving their mental and physical well-being. Here are some tips that have been proven to help those suffering with insomnia finally get the restful sleep they need and deserve:

  • Practice good “sleep hygiene”According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), sleep hygiene habits can promote restful sleep. These include going to bed at the same time each night and waking at the same time each morning, avoiding large meals before bedtime, and steering clear of alcohol,caffeine, and nicotine before bed.
  • Have a bedtime ritual – Performing the same habitual routine every night as you wind down will send your brain cues that it is time to start preparing for sleep. An example of a bedtime ritual would be lowering the lights in your home, drinking a cup of herbal tea, and switching off all screens to minimize distractions and reduce artificial blue wavelength light, which can interfere with circadian rhythms. (If putting down your phone for a couple of hours before bed is more than you can handle, consider installing a blue light filter, which can be easily downloaded as an app).
  • Control your sleep environment – To fall and stay asleep, you must be relaxed and comfortable. Make sure your sleep environment is as restful as you can make it. You might sleep best in a completely dark room, or you may prefer to leave on a nightlight. You might require absolute silence, or you may find that white noise, such as the whoosh of a ceiling fan, helps you relax. Adjust your thermostat to the temperature that suits you best so you don’t wake up sweating or shivering. Invest in luxurious bedding that will make your bed an inviting place to spend a lot of time in. A quality pillow can make a world of difference, ensuring proper alignment of the head and neck so there is far less tossing and turning to get comfortable.

Getting a good night’s sleep can be an important first step in managing a depressive episode. Having more physical and mental energy means you’ll feel more prepared to take on other activities that alleviate depression, such as exercise, eating right, and participating in social events. These activities will in turn lead to better sleep at night, and a much healthier cycle of sleep and mood will emerge.

If you’re having trouble getting the sleep you need to get through the day, consider switching your pillow to a Queen Anne Pillow. We are committed to making the most luxurious bed pillows on the planet. A healthy life starts with healthy sleep, and Queen Anne Pillows can ensure deep, restful sleep, night after night.

 

*This article is intended to be informative and NOT medical advice. If you think you might be suffering from depression, please contact a mental health professional