Step number one for helping depression.

Posted by & filed under Health and Fitness.

Get a good night’s sleep.  Depression is a horrible thing.  Tiredness is a horrible thing.  Both lead to a complete lack of motivation to do anything other than essential things, both can lead to comfort eating, both lead to poor concentration and making silly mistakes.  So the most important thing to do is to get to bed a decent time.  It is hard to turn the TV off if wrapped up in some film or programme.  I think I might put a huge clock up above my telly so I can see my sleeping time dribbling away.

Once in bed, of course, sleep quality is very important.  We need to be able to drop off to sleep quickly and easily, then wake before the alarm clock refreshed and raring to go.  Until that goal is achieved, then it is pointless complaining about being depressed.  If we sleep well and are still depressed, then that is real and work needs to be done to work out what to do about it other than give in to Prozac or whatever the latest pharma answer is.

As a reminder, to aid good sleep, the last cup of caffeinated tea or coffee should be drunk at 4pm or earlier.  Booze should be drunk in moderation.  We should be well hydrated throughout the day so we don’t wake thirsty – but it isn’t a good idea to drink a huge glass of water upon retiring since we will have to get up for a wee in the night.  A bit of water should be fine.  The room should be pitch black and not too hot.  The tofu merchants would have no electricity in the bedroom either – but that is a tall order.  However, any tellys or computers should be completely turned off.

So all the boxes have been ticked and sleep is still problematical.  It is said that waking in the night is the body telling us that all is not right.  As long as we haven’t had that big drink of water at bedtime, then it should not be necessary to get up to widdle, for instance. It is worth noting what time we wake up since if it is a regular time, this is a big clue as to what is happening in the body; whether the liver is suffering or the antioxidants that are low etc.

It is worth trying stuff like Valerian.  Poliquin’s Ubermag is a first rate source of magnesium – poor sleep quality being a prime symptom of magnesium shortage.  Inositol helps those who’s brain will not stop, as does Reishi mushroom.  The Poliquin Serenity or Nutri Compose are the same product and these are excellent things to take if waking at 5am since they just make you feel serene and not sleepy, so you will get back to sleep but wake at the proper time feeling good.  These are just a few ideas.  As a life long insomniac I can vouch for them working.

If late nights are unavoidable or it is taking a while to sort out why we are waking up, then it is an excellent thing to take a nap in the afternoon.  This will recharge the brain and we can enjoy the rest of the day instead of staggering through until evening, at which point many of us perk up again.  If it is possible to take a snooze, aim for about 20 minutes of sleep.  Any more and we start to produce melatonin, which should be produced at night.  So we will wake from the nap very sleepy and then find it difficult to get to sleep that night.

For once, it is simple.  Get to bed on time, sleep well, don’t overindulge and life will become a lot more rosy.

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