Mother Earth Living

Natural Health

Better living through nature

Add to My MSN

Treating Depression Naturally: Establish a Sleep Schedule

12/17/2010 4:55:29 PM

Tags: natural health, mental health, depression, seasonal affective disorder, SAD, Therapeutic Lifestyle Change, TLC, sleep, melatonin, light pollution

Sleep problems go hand-in-hand with depression. Some people who have depression want to sleep constantly, while others suffer from insomnia. While the relationship between sleep and depression is still being explored, studies have shown that sleep problems often precede depression, and scientists believe that sleep deprivation can also worsen depression.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends getting an average of 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night—a number that most Americans fall short of. Too often sleep is seen as a luxury instead of a necessity in our culture. Whether we’re working late, staying out with friends or just catching a late night TV show, most of us don’t get enough rest each night. And as sleep affects more than just our mental health—sleep deprivation has been linked to greater risk for cancer, diabetes and heart disease—it would be wise to give up the slogan “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” and change those habits now.

sleeping woman 
Establish a sleep schedule to ensure you're receiving at least seven hours of sleep each night. Photo By Filomena Scalise/Courtesy FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

While sleep is crucial to overcoming depression, establishing consistent sleeping habits is the true key. Arrange your schedule to accommodate getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night. Although it might be tempting to sleep in on the weekends, try to stick to your routine. Sleeping for excessive amounts of time will throw off your sleep cycle just as much as not getting enough sleep. (After a while, you’ll find it difficult to sleep in anyway!)

If you can, arrange your sleep around the patterns of the sun, as our bodies operate best when synced up with this natural cycle. Post-sunset exposure to artificial light can cause the body to produce incorrect levels of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep, which can disturb circadian rhythms and make sleeping difficult. Seasonal Affective Disorder is also caused in part by seasonal light changes, reinforcing the connection between sleep, light and mental health.

To reduce light pollution and ensure a better night's sleep, get blackout curtains for your bedroom, unplug any electronics that might emit light during the night and shut your computer down an hour before bedtime. If you like to fall asleep to the TV, break that habit. Examine your diet as well to see if you’re consuming any foods that might keep you awake.

Remember: Establishing consistent sleeping patterns is not a cure-all for depression but just one component of the TLC program’s natural approach to treating depression. Depression is a chronic illness; if you think you may have depression, please consult your doctor.

Read the original post, “Treating Depression Naturally: The Therapeutic Lifestyle Change Program.” 



Related Content

Sleep-Deprived Mothers Can Suffer From Momnesia

A new study has found that lack of sleep can cause memory loss.

Europharma Releases Curamin PM A Nighttime Version Of Its Popular Curamin Product

EuroPharma, Inc. has now released a nighttime version, Curamin PM, for those who need support for re...

Treating Depression Naturally: Find Social Support

Seeking out social support, whether from friends and family, a support group or talk therapy, can he...

5 Foods to Avoid for Your Mental Health

Skip these foods for a better mood, better energy and better overall mental health.

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 

MY COMMUNITY
no image
valerykenery
8/29/2014 12:04:10 AM
no image
HarvestRight
8/21/2014 5:22:39 PM
no image
NatureHillsNursery
8/20/2014 10:03:07 AM
no image
NatureHillsNursery
8/20/2014 9:59:22 AM
no image
NatureHillsNursery
8/20/2014 9:30:07 AM
no image
melisastarr
8/19/2014 12:57:22 PM
no image
Peggy McMahan
8/18/2014 11:29:51 AM


Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.