Depression and sleep problems are linked.
We’ve all had sleepless nights. But depression and sleep problems are linked. In 2011, it was estimated that 90% of people suffering from depression had trouble sleeping because of underlying issues of anxiety, despair, and fear. Mood is affected when you can’t sleep well.
Here’s 5 tips for a good night’s sleep when dealing with depression:
- Set up a worry time. Anxiety is a tough emotion to overcome. Anxiety keeps your mind active with thoughts that are self-defeating and destructive. Set up a ‘worry time’. Worry time is 30 minutes every day, at the same time, when you let yourself intensely worry about everything that is bothering you. The 30 minutes is time you allow the Darkness to scream at you. BUT at the end of that 30 minutes, you MUST say, “I listened to you, but now I release you from my thoughts until tomorrow, when at this same time I’ll listen to you again.” If you do this before going to bed, it will act as a release valve for your mind and condition your thoughts to settle down. If you wake up in the middle of the night, or toss and turn, remind yourself that ‘worry time’ will be waiting for you to go over everything.
- Don’t label yourself. Frustrated because you can’t sleep? Don’t start calling yourself stupid or other degrading names. It’s okay that you can’t fall asleep. That’s depression. When you’re sick with a cold, you don’t call yourself stupid every time you sneeze, right? Same idea. Beating depression means you have to recognize what part is you and what part is despair, anxiety and fear. If it’s anxiety keeping you awake say, “Anxiety! You’re not part of me. You’re something out there, that’s affecting me now but sooner than later you’ll be gone. And I’ll still be here, loving myself.”
- Learn to relax. Depression and sleep mean tense muscles. It’s not just a clenched jaw or grinding teeth, but stiffness and soreness that makes getting out of bed difficult. There are several tricks to make your muscles quickly relax. One is to clench your fists, feel the tension for a few short seconds, then quickly relax your hands and allow the tension to escape. Do the same for your jaw, arms, abdomen, and legs. Take a d-e-e-p, slow breath. Let yourself feel the air inside you before you exhale. Curl your toes on the carpet (you’ll be surprised how good it feels and how relaxed you get!)
- Create a sleep environment. Dealing with depression and sleep means your bedroom has to be ‘anxiety proofed.’ You baby proof things around the house when you have a baby, right? So you need to anxiety proof your bedroom. Remove ticking clocks because they’re constant reminders about the time. Muffle loud noises. Tell your boyfriend, husband, or kids to take down the volume on electronic devices or to use headphones. Make your room dark. Having the street lamp shine in just keeps you awake. The neighbour’s dog or cat might keep you awake one night. Talk to your neighbour the next day and see if something can be arranged so the animal won’t howl beneath your window.
- Develop bedtime rituals. Bedtime rituals remind you its time to sleep. It tells your brain, “I am getting ready to sleep now.” It’s amazing how a simple ritual can condition your mind. This can be many things – brushing your teeth, taking a warm shower or bath, saying your prayers or meditating. Even getting your bed ready is a ritual that tells you, “Hey, I’m going to sleep now. I will get some sleep in my nice, warm, comfortable bed,” as opposed to falling asleep on the sofa.
These tips for dealing with depression and sleep may not work for you. Don’t get upset if you continue to think at night. See your doctor or medical professional for help. There are all sorts of sleep aids such as medications, relaxation and sleep CDs, and aromatherapy lotions and sprays. Remember to be patient and kind to yourself!
2015 Canada Mental Health Survey
This year’s Canadian Federal election is an opportunity for Canadians to change mental health care. A new Pan-Canada Mental Health survey is open to all Canadians (caregivers, family members, LE people). It’s a quick 15 minute online survey.
The 2015 National Mental Health Survey can be answered by any Canadian, not just a person suffering from mental health issues. This means that caregivers and family members can add their two cents. It’s a 15 minute online survey with a June 27, 2015 deadline.
A similar national mental health survey was conducted in 2011 by the Mood Disorders Society of Canada (MDSC). A detailed report was distributed to all parliamentarians.
“What was made abundantly clear by the respondents is that significant gaps and shortages continue to be ignored by mental health policy makers throughout Canada.” (MDSC, Nov. 2011)
Important facts of the 2011 Mental Health Survey:
- 35 per cent of respondents had to wait more than 12 months for a diagnosis.
- 52 per cent had to visit a hospital emergency. Almost all were dissatisfied with their treatment.
- 82 per cent were able to get the medications needed, but this meant going into debt, rationing drugs, and staying in stressful situations to take advantage of benefits programs.
- 65 per cent said their local hospital didn’t provide adequate care for patients with mental illness. The number one reason was that the hospital “does not seem to prioritize mental illness.”
Gratitude attitude is all about you and the universe. When you emanate gratitude attitude, you’re sending out the same vibration as the energy of love. When you practice appreciation, you let go of doubt and fear. Saying and giving thanks will make you feel good. That good feeling is also your soul’s way of letting you know that gratitude is part of the innate make up of your soul.
Gratitude opens you up to love. You appreciate the love that is present in all things and in yourself. It’s tough to hate yourself when you can appreciate both the good and bad in you. You can also change the life of someone in positive ways you didn’t think possible. Everyone wants to be acknowledged for who they are and what they do.
Gratitude brings happiness. Instead of focusing on the negative things in your life, gratitude brings focus to what is positive. It makes you appreciate things more and put your life in perspective. When you look at life as being hard and difficult, think instead of it as exciting and challenging. Obstacles become opportunities to learn and grow. “I love this food. I love these kids. I love the possibilities this day can bring.”
Practicing an attitude of gratitude lets you see your life as a miracle. You see the opportunities and possibilities before you. You look at things that as rich and positive instead of poor and fearful. Gratitude strengthens your body, mind, and heart. By sending out positive energy, you’ll start attracting situations and people into your life that are positive and soul-enriching.
* Click here to find out more about Terezia Farkas and her Depression help and click here to follow Terezia on Twitter.
Give gratitude daily for all things living and non-living.
How often are you grateful for all things living and non-living in your life? In today’s fast-paced, 3 second attention span society, gratitude often is at the bottom of the list. Sure there are moments in life when you realize how blessed you really are. But do you truly appreciate your life on a day-to-day basis?
Gratitude is a key part of happiness. By counting your blessings every day, you might become a happier person. Research worldwide has proven this idea. Being thankful applies to both good and bad life situations. Each experience teaches you something, helping you move forward in your spiritual and emotional journey. Expressing gratitude is important for a healthy mind.
We all have amazing things in our lives that make us smile and bring joy to our hearts.
Once a week take some quiet you time to express gratitude. Start with yourself, thinking about all the good things that make you who you are. Move outward to other family members, friends, co-workers. Don’t forget to add in the people who annoy you, dislike you, or have wronged you. Annoying or sweet, all of these people have added something to your life, teaching you lessons and helping you get to the next higher level of spiritual being.
When was the last time you were truly grateful?