Sleep deprivation depression has become a concerning condition in recent years, with the increasing number of people suffering from it. It is true that people feel as if there are fewer hours of work, and in an attempt to complete their work they tend to extend their working hours. In doing so people fail to realize that the lack of having enough sleep has devastating effects on health.
The Link between Sleep Deprivation and Depression
Depression is often accompanied by insomnia. It is a vicious cycle, where when people are depressed, they cannot go to sleep, and so end up waking up feeling tired everyday. This instead makes people more depressed, and prevents them from sleeping properly. However, there is another connection between sleep deprivation and depression which is contrary to this. Some people suffering of depression tend to be very active when they are sleep deprived. Instead, when they begin to follow regular sleep schedules, they get depressed again.
Depression is a process which slowly sets in, and is usually treated by medication or therapy. A major clinical sign of sleep deprivation is the inability to sleep. Another sign is oversleeping. Having sleep disorders does not usually lead to depression. The lack of sleep however, does contribute greatly to depression. The inability of people to sleep for sufficient hours is also a clue that they may be depressed.
In some cases however, people may instead sleep for very long hours in an attempt to get rid of depression, which indicates that they may be seriously depressed as to find it necessary to sleep it off. In such cases, people may not be able to sleep through the depression properly, whereas in some cases they may actually succeed. This could be a good thing in treating both sleep deprivation and depression, though it has a 50-50 chance because it all depends on whether sleeping would be possible.
The Importance of Sleep to Avoid Sleep Deprivation Depression
Sleep is normally a restorative state. However, when sleep is disrupted and inadequate, it can lead to an increased level of irritability, tension and vigilance. Physical, emotional, metabolic and other medical problems may actually trigger sleep deprivation depression and sleep disturbances. Poor sleep leads to tiredness and fatigue. With fatigue, people are unable to exercise enough, which leads to a lack of fitness. With this, people eventually find themselves in a vicious cycle of inactivity, which also affects the sleep quality.
When depression is not treated, people are faced with very overwhelming feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, guilt and sadness. These can weigh down on sleep, making it almost impossible to sleep sometimes. Even when people do sleep in such conditions, the various worries and thoughts may still keep running over and over again in their minds, making it difficult for them to focus on sleeping.
Tips to Help Sleep Deprivation Depression
Here are a few tips that can be helpful in improving and resolving sleep and insomnia problems (in combination with hypnotics and antidepressants):
- Listening to music, reading and meditating before going to bed can help relax better and easily. It would be a good thing to focus thoughts on pleasant and neutral topics while doing these.
- It would be helpful to clear the mind of all concerns. It certainly doesn’t sound like an easy thing to do; however, it is very possible if people can write down activities to be completed the following day on a list. Then they can tell themselves they will think about it the next day and clear their mind of it.
- Exercising regularly a few hours just before bedtime helps the body relax. This helps people suffering of sleep deprivation depression relax easily, and eases the mind of all tensions. Daily exercises including body conditioning and stretching exercises help in relieving feelings associated with anxiety. Exercises also help in facilitating sleep and enable people to sleep for sufficiently long hours.
- When people suffer of sleep deprivation and depression, they tend to wake up many times during the night. This happens due to the racing thoughts and worries they are constantly thinking about. In such cases, relaxation therapies such as yoga and breathing therapies help in inducing sleep.
- People should always avoid using caffeine, nicotine and alcohol, especially in the evenings. The use of such stimulators makes the body and brain activities very fast, which takes away sleepiness and makes it a problem for people to go to sleep.
- Taking a warm shower before going to bed helps the body relax, which makes it easier for people to fall asleep. This helps people drift into a deep and comfortable sleep.
- Keeping the bedroom at normal and cool temperatures is also very helpful, especially in extreme weather conditions. An extremely cold or hot room makes it very difficult for people to sleep, and is a contributing factor to mood problems and ofcourse, sleep deprivation depression.