Poor sleep is unfortunately a big issue in Australia. Research has found that sleeping disorders and their symptoms are the most common indications of depression. There is a strong relationship between sleep and mood, indicating that insomnia is associated with a significantly increased risk of relapse or development of depression. That is, insomnia issues directly increase risk to developing depression or relapsing into a severe depressive episode.
Addressing sleep is extremely important in mental health management. The mind and body speak to each other, so good mental health management involves physical health management also.
The Australian Family Physician (2009), outlines that typical sleep symptoms in depression include:
- Difficulty initiating (initial insomnia)
- Difficulty maintaining (mid insomnia)
- Early morning waking (terminal insomnia)
What does poor sleep do to me?
- Poor concentration
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in sex drive
- Poor or low mood
- Increase in agitation and irritability
- Poor reaction time (risk when driving or operating machinery)
- Changes in perception and judgement
- Increase in clumsiness or making errors
- Increase in relapse in depressive episodes
- Increase risk of heart disease or stroke
- Increase risk of psychosis
- Poor memory
The impact of these symptoms has a large effect on your functioning at home, work or with study. It then also can significantly impede on relationships and your overall wellbeing.
How many hours of sleep should I be having?
There are clear guidelines for how many hours of sleep per night you may need. Research indicates that age plays a role in the amount of sleeping hours you should be spending to receive optimal health benefits and improve in your day to day functioning. Everyone requires a minimum amount of sleep per night, however, may vary from person to person.
It is recommended that you track your sleep for a week or longer and discuss your nightly routines with your GP or specialist. They may be able to assist you with developing a plan to improve your health and sleep.
To find out how many hours of sleep per night you should be having, you can visit The Sleep Health Foundation.
How do I get help?
It is recommended that you speak with your GP about your concerns and difficulties. These difficulties may be precipitating or a maintaining your depression. Addressing all issues related to your physical health, may have an impact on lowering depressive symptoms.
You can discuss treatment for depression options by contacting one our our TMS Clinicians on 1300 867 888 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Berk, M. (2009). Sleep and depression. Theory and practice. Australian Family Physician, 28 (5), 302-304. Retrieved from http://www.racgp.org.au/download/Documents/AFP/2009/May/200905berk.pdf
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