Hi, I'm Donna Fish and this is Living Well With Depression.
According to the 2010 Sleep In America poll, the National Sleep Foundation reports that the average American gets between 6 and 7 hours of sleep per night…
however, when you're living with depression, sleep is often anything but average… abnormal sleep patterns can be a major sign of clinical depression.
For some, the problem lies in getting too much sleep. They're overcome by a lethargic feeling that lingers all day, making it hard to even get out of bed.
Others battle insomnia, which may be driven by an anxious energy that prevents them from catching any more than a few hours of rest each night.
While a sleep disorder does not necessarily cause depression, it can contribute to the condition and can make symptoms more severe so here are some ways to make peace with the night and,
as a result, bring more enjoyment to your mornings.
First, be sure to set aside your bedroom as a place just for sleeping. Watching TV or reading in bed can contribute to sleep troubles.
So set the right atmosphere by adding black out curtains or a sound machine to drown out any bothersome light or noise.
You could also try wearing earplugs or a sleep mask.
If you can't sleep, get out of bed to do something and return when you get drowsy.
Another recommended step is to establish a nightly routine to help you unwind. Start off by cutting out all caffeine, alcohol, or nicotine from your evenings.
This includes medicines containing these substances, such as headache pills with caffeine.
Daily exercise can also help regulate sleep patterns. Just be sure to finish your workout a few hours before bed.
And a warm shower is a great way to end your evening, for it encourages a deeper sleep as your body cools.
Finally, try meditating your way to relaxation by listening to soft music or focusing on pleasing or neutral topics while lying in bed.
That's it for this episode of living well with depression. Stay tuned for more tips right here on WebMD.