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When You Can't Sleep

One of the worst things about being depressed is what happens to your sleep.  Most people with depression suffer from some sort of sleep disruption.  Maybe you can’t fall asleep, can’t stay asleep, can’t sleep to a reasonable hour in the morning, have anxiety dreams, have night sweats, etc.&nbsp We are familiar with them all, and none of them are nice.
Chronic sleep deprivation will contribute to your depression.
Tips for sleeping well:

Go to bed and get up at the same time each day (even on weekends).  Your body will get used to a ‘rest routine’.
Make sure your bedroom is dark.  A street light, or even the moon, can disturb your sleep.  Put up a darker window covering if needed.
Have a warm shower or bath before you go to bed.  It is relaxing and, as your body cools from the warmth of the water, it mimics the cooling of your body as it falls asleep.
If you can’t fall asleep after an hour of trying, get up.  Laying in bed and getting more anxious about not being able to sleep will make your bedroom an unhappy place to go, and your subconscious won’t want to go there.  Do an activity that is boring and/or soothing.  Try reading a book (not an exciting one!), or knitting.  Don’t watch TV (it is too easy to get caught up in it and find yourself watching the late movie) unless you find it boring, and don’t do any activity that will stimulate your body or mind.
Don’t exercise in the evening.  The increased energy level from exercising could interfere with your sleep.
Make sure your bed and bedding are comfortable.
Keep your bedroom cool.  If it is too hot, you will have trouble sleeping.
Try drinking warm milk or herbal tea.
Stay away from caffeine in the late afternoon and evening, or completely if you can.  Don’t forget that chocolate has caffeine in it.
Meditate or pray before you go to sleep.
Try herbal remedies.  Valerian is a good relaxant that may help you sleep, try Melatonin, too.  Melatonin is a hormone that you are supposed to release when you sleep.  If you are are really sleep deprived, talk to your doctor about a prescription sleeping pill.  Use these as a last resort, they can be addictive, and you may find that you don’t feel rested in the morning.
Be gentle with yourself.  Not being able to sleep is part of the chemical imbalance in your brain, a physical problem. Beating yourself up won’t help, and it won’t make you sleep.
Find some strategies that work for you.  This is a very important part of your recovery.  If you can’t sleep, you won’t have the energy you need to work on your recovery plan.

Make your bedroom a sanctuary. It should be used for sleep and sex only. Take out the TV, and remove all those piles of stuff that don’t belong there.