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 tips for falling asleep | Terezia Farkas | Beliefnet | Depression help
Depressed people have the most insomnia. In 2011, it was estimated that 90% of depressed people have trouble sleeping. Issues of anxiety, despair, guilt, and fear prevent a good night sleep. Not sleeping well has its own negative effects. Tiredness, inability to concentrate, loss of appetite. It’s an insidious cycle.

Here are a few tips for falling asleep.                                   

  • Set up a worry time.    

Anxiety is a tough emotion to quiet. Anxiety will keep your mind active and thinking all sorts of thoughts that are often self-defeating and destructive. This makes falling asleep almost impossible. You can try a mindfulness activity.

Try setting up a ‘worry time’. All you have to do is make an active effort for 30 minutes every day, at the same time, to let yourself intensely worry about everything that despair and anxiety are yelling at you. The 30 minutes is allowed for the Darkness to scream at you. BUT at the end of that 30 minutes, you MUST say, “Despair, Anxiety, I have listened to what you had to say. I release you from my thoughts. Without any fear, anger, or hatred I send you into a corner to wait there until tomorrow, when at this same time I will listen to you again.”

Try to do this before you go to bed, as it will act like 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 tomorrow ‘worry time’ will be there for you to go over everything.

 

  • Don’t label yourself.

You’re frustrated because you can’t sleep, so you start calling yourself stupid. Stop it! Putting yourself down does nothing except keep you awake.

Love yourself! Accept that you can’t fall asleep. It’s not your fault. You’re depressed. 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 anxiety is 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 will be gone. And I will still be here, loving myself.”

 

  • Learn to relax.

Easier said than done, right?  Learning to relax does take time and practice. Once you start practicing though, your body gets into an automatic reaction state where it relaxes even if your mind doesn’t.

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 by getting a good night sleep means your bedroom has to be ‘anxiety proofed.’ You baby proof things around the house when you have an infant, right? So you anxiety proof your bedroom.

Remove ticking clocks as they just create more pressure to fall asleep as you are constantly reminded 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 streetlamp shine in just keeps you awake. The neighbor’s dog or cat might keep you awake one night. Talk to your neighbor the next day and see if something can be arranged so the animal doesn’t howl beneath your window.

 

  • Develop bedtime rituals. 

Bedtime rituals help 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 the simple act of 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 battling depression may not work for everyone. Don’t get upset with yourself if you continue to think at night. See your doctor or medical professional for help. There are all sorts of sleep aids such as different medications, relaxation and sleep CDs, aromatherapy in lotions and sprays.

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Heart of Love Evolution - Surviving Depression | Terezia Farkas | depression help
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