We all feel a little blue from time to time. Sadness is a fundamental part of the human condition. For the majority, feeling down is often a temporary experience connected to specific events. For others, a sense of sadness or hopelessness can be more persistent—this is what we all know as depression.
Depression is a serious condition that affects every aspect of a person’s life, from their appetite to what they think and feel to their ability to sleep. Treatment for depressiondiffers from person to person and can involve therapy and medications, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and antidepressants. While the pros and cons of certain treatments are regularly debated, what isn’t up for debate is the affect a healthy sleep routine can have on a person experiencing depression.
The relationship between sleep and mental illness, specifically depression, is complicated. Some people find they can’t sleep at all, while others find they can’t stop sleeping. It’s not consistent for everyone. But everyone experiencing depression should work to improve and regulate their sleep because there are only benefits to be had. So, here are some tips to help improve your sleep, and with it, your mood.
Turn Your Bedroom Into A Sleep Sanctuary
Your bedroom should be a dedicated Zen palace of sleep. Too much noise, light or distraction can make sleep harder. So, make your room as dark as possible. Blackout curtains or blinds can be a helpful investment. If environmental noises bother you, then experiment with a “white noise” generator to drown them out. Ensure your mattress is up to the job. Laying down each night on an old, saggy or squeaking bed can inhibit your ability to sleep.
If you can’t sleep, don’t just lie there tossing and turning—get up and move to another room. Do something low key like reading a book or listening to some music. Then, when you are ready, return to your bedroom to sleep. This way, your brain will begin to associate your bed (and bedroom) purely with sleep and not sleep problems.