10 Nov The Link between Depression and Sleep
This month, we’re focusing on Men’s health issues so we thought we would do a blog post on the importance of sleep and depression. There is an important link between depression and the amount of sleep we get. A staggering 1 in 8 men will experience depression in their lifetime. Depression affects how you think and feel about yourself. The good news is, just like a physical illness, depression can be managed with effective treatment. Insomnia is very common among depressed patients. Evidence suggests that people with insomnia have a ten-fold risk of developing depression compared with those who sleep well. We’ve put together some tips that can help those nighttime woes, and if you’re a depression sufferer help relieve the severity of symptoms.
Identifying the Link between Depression and Sleep
- Lack of interest in work, hobbies, and doing activities one would normally enjoy
- Low energy levels and lack of motivation
- Trouble sleeping
- Sleeping too much
- Anger or irritability
- Inability to concentrate.
Tips on achieving optimal sleep
- Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
- Try to turn any electronic devices off about 1hour to 30 minutes prior to falling asleep.
- Aim to finish eating at least 2 hours before going to sleep, and avoid foods high in fat and sugar before bed
- Posture: Sleeping on your back is a neutral position for your spine and a pillow under the knees can help maintain spinal curves. Our Osteopaths can give you plenty of helpful advice on improving your sleeping position if you are noticing any soreness or other issues.
- Limit Alcohol: Best practice is to avoid alcohol 4 hours prior to bedtime. Alcohol is a depressant (it slows your brain) and can initially cause drowsiness, however, it leads to less deep sleep and shortens sleep cycles creating broken sleep.
- Limit sleep medication: Do not become reliant on these, use sparingly and skip nights.
If you notice a loved one or friend is experiencing any or all of these symptoms, please contact beyondblue.com.au, HeadSpace or Lifeline.