I can’t get to sleep

Often when someone has depression their sleeping patterns can change; getting too much sleep or sometimes not being able to get to sleep at all.  When you can’t sleep it makes it difficult to function, think clearly, or do things during the day so you get the temptation for a quick easy solution.  This could be a couple of glasses of alcohol or taking a pill, but this can cause more problems in the future.  Alternatively, a few simple techniques can help to restore good sleep habits.  The following does by no means cover all the possible solutions, however they are some of the most common and useful options.

Do you eat a big meal late at night just before going to sleep? That feeling of being full and bloated can cause discomfort and issues with going to sleep.  The best thing to do is eat a meal several hours before bedtime.

Do you have caffeine late in the evening?  Caffeine is found in a variety of things we use daily.  Everything from coffee, cola and energy drinks to tea and some medications.  Stop caffeine before 4pm while you are trying to improve your sleep.

Do you have lots of nervous energy in the evening or don’t feel tired before bed? Exercise during the day can help to get rid of excess energy, and this could be with a walk or some other type of exercise.  But, don’t do it just before bed as you don’t want to be over-stimulated at bedtime.

Worrying in bed late a night is also a common problem experienced by many people with depression.  Thinking about the days events, planning for tomorrow, reflecting on the past and thinking about how you might have done things differently can keep you from sleeping.  For some people keeping a journal can help, or writing down their worries.

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