There is evidence that lack of sleep is associated with clinical depression. Insomnia is more common in the elderly (usually due to chronic physical illness) and in women (who experience significant hormonal changes throughout their lives). Insomnia is often an essential feature in the diagnosis of depression. Inability to sleep or stay asleep at night is considered a key contributor to the onset of depression.
When you are sad or desperate because of a personal situation, these feelings can sometimes interfere with sleep because these thoughts constantly cross your mind. These feelings can be so overwhelming and persistent that you can not fall asleep or stay asleep. Sleep is a restful state where your body and mind recover from the day’s events. If this state is interrupted, you will feel tired, which leads to a lack of exercise and a decline in fitness. This can lead to a vicious cycle of inactivity and insomnia.
Here are how many hours you have to sleep to avoid depression:
Lack of sleep can also be caused by things like Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which impairs sleep and prevents the person from restful sleep. OSA disrupts the person’s airways and reduces oxygen supply. This leads the person to wake up often during the night. OSA has been associated with the onset of depression, and on the other hand, people with depression are five times more likely to have OSA symptoms.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression triggered when days begin to shorten during the fall. Shorter days mean less sunlight, and this can have a negative effect on a person’s circadian rhythm. When the circadian rhythm is disrupted, it can cause insomnia and other sleep disturbances, which can contribute to depression. For most people with SAD, the symptoms of depression disappear with the beginning of spring and more sun.
Lack of sleep or interruption of sleep can lead to depression or contribute to a depressive state that lasts longer. So what can we do before bedtime to fall asleep easier and lessen the risk of waking up during the night?
If you have OSA, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine can increase the airflow to your lungs and prevent you from waking up at night because of your obstructed airways.
Meditating or listening to soft music before bedtime can enhance relaxation and focus your mind on enjoyable or emotionally neutral topics.
Make a list of things you need to do the next day to help soothe your mind and keep it from being obsessed with your to-do list. When you write things down, your mind tends to forget those concerns, helping you to sleep and stay asleep.
Exercise can help you relieve stress, and you’re tired. Making yourself tired at the end of the day can help you fall asleep, and endorphins released during exercise can improve your mood and cure your depression. Be careful not to exercise a few hours before bedtime.
Yoga and deep abdominal breathing can lead to states of relaxation that will help you to sleep more easily.
Limit caffeine, alcohol and nicotine before going to bed. They can act as stimulants and prevent you from falling asleep easily.
The temperature of your room should stay cool and take a hot shower just before sleeping to relax your body.
The average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep a night to feel rested and prevent the symptoms of depression. If you do not get enough sleep and you feel tired and irritable, and this can lead to negative feelings and a deep, more lasting depressive state. Take care of your body, limit sports activities shortly before sleep and stimulating foods, put yourself to meditation, yoga and deep breathing to relax and be sure to set up your room to promote sleep.