Sleep is an important element of depression treatment. This is the time when your brain sorts through all of your thoughts, memories, and emotions from the day so you can begin the following day with a fresh start. In this guide, we provide some simple sleep routine tips that you can apply to your daily life.
Put Yourself on a Schedule
In order to establish the ‘routine’ element of a sleep routine, you need to set yourself on a sleep schedule. This means going to bed around the same time each night and waking up around the same time each morning. That may not always be possible for people with varying work schedules, but if you can maintain consistency as much as possible, it will be easier to fall asleep at night after night. Sleeping becomes a form of muscle memory, so you will feel tired when your body knows it’s time to go to bed.
Rest Even If You Can’t Sleep
Do you get frustrated or stressed when you have to go to bed because you can’t fall asleep? Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. If sleep becomes a source of stress, it’s only going to add to the rest of the stress you were dealing with. If all you can do is lay in bed and rest for several hours, that’s still progress. It may take time for you to get your body and mind used to the idea of being in bed for a prolonged period of time. Eventually though, that rest should turn into sleep, as long as you remain diligent with it.
Avoid Your Phone at Least 30 Minutes before Bed
There is nothing wrong with checking social media or watching a few videos on YouTube before you go to bed, but plan to be off your phone at least 30 minutes before you fall asleep. The blue light emitted from phone screens will keep your brain running well after you close your eyes. This may once again add to frustration you experience because you cannot fall asleep. Don’t make your phone the last thing you look at before you fall asleep.
Create a Wind-down Routine
It will be easier to fall asleep if your mind and body are relaxed. Create a wind down routine suited to your likes. You may drink a glass of wine, read a chapter in your favorite book, take a bath, listen to some calming music, or do anything else you enjoy. Just make sure it’s relaxing and not too thought-provoking.
Be Selective with Nighttime TV Shows
If you are going to watch a TV show before bed, try to make it something you don’t have to focus on too much. You can still enjoy the show, but it should be something that only passively hold your attention. If you’re trying to get through an intense show that you really love, you may save that for earlier in the day. Otherwise, your mind will be focused heavily on the plot as you’re trying to go to bed, which may delay your progress.
Get Sleep Routine Tips from Your Therapist
Your therapist has insight into your lifestyle, experiences, and the nature of your depression. He or she can provide personalized advice suited to fit your needs. Talk about your sleep frustrations during your counseling sessions, and see what creative solutions you can come up with.
To schedule an appointment with a depression therapist near you, contact MHR Memphis at (901) 682-6136.