It is well known that depression can result in sleep problems. But can sleep problems cause depression? Although most of us realize that poor sleep can result in daytime fatigue and irritability, scientific studies have provided evidence that insomnia can cause clinical depression. So there appears to be a bidirectional association between the two: each increases the risk for the other, even when controlling for factors such as lifestyle, demographics, and anxiety level. This is why it is important to screen for and treat insomnia in those that show signs of depression. Early treatment of sleep problems may prevent or mitigate a depressive episode.
How do we treat sleep? There is a wide assortment of drugs available for treating insomnia which I will discuss in a later blog, but for now I will mention some of the simple steps we can take to treat insomnia on our own without medications.
7 Tips to Treat Insomnia
- Go to sleep and rise at about the same time every day, including weekends. The mind and body rely on and adapt well to this consistent cycle.
- Minimize stimulation. Keep the bedroom as dark as possible and minimize ambient noise (use earplugs if needed, turn off the TV or music).
- Use the bed only for sleep or sex.
- If you wake up in the middle of the night and can