I love it when the media describes something as “new research” or the “latest findings”. Especially when it isn’t new and especially when it’s about depression. Now sometimes it is new research but honestly I can’t think of any research that has been touted as new in the last five years that I haven’t already know and read about for a very long time. Some of it is just plain common sense. This”latest” research finding has been around for ages. It concerns sleep and depression.
A “new” Canadian study has shown that insomnia can lead to depression. http://www.sandiego6.com/story/treating-insomnia-helping-heal-those-suffering-from-depression-20131118 You should really read this study. You’ll surely see that it’s nothing more than common sense and proves what has been said by countless others for years, that insomnia is both a trigger and a symptom of depression and depression is a trigger and symptom of depression. The study suggests that if you treat the insomnia, you will also be treating the depression. Shut the front door! Are they serious!
If you’re one of those that just heard this and you think it’s anything new, it isn’t. The connection between sleep habits and depression has been inextricably linked for years. Dozens and dozens of books I’ve researched have said the same thing. Actually, you’ve known it to be true for yourself.
If you’ve suffered insomnia for, let’s say a few weeks, or even just one week, you’ve noticed for yourself a decline in your mood. It may not have resulted in depression but it certainly dampened your mood, didn’t it?
I wonder how much this study cost. Sounds to me a little like a study that shows if you eat less you will lose weight. Really? This is all just common sense but something got paid big money for stating the obvious.
Anyway, I thought I might quickly discuss this for a minute. We finally have our power back having been without it for two days. What does our power outage have to do with this subject. Well, with no TV and no heat, and with it getting dark here in Michigan by 5:30 one gets very sleepy. And just try to read by flashlight. Your eyes get very tired.
So my hubby and I have fallen asleep by 9:30. That’s about two hours earlier than usual. We just knew we’d wake up by 4:00 a.m. Guess what? We didn’t. We slept in till 7:00 both mornings. We both noticed about good we felt. Got us to thinking about our ancestors who went to bed when it was dark and got up when it was light and then were very active all day. There was probably much less depression because there was probably less insomnia as well. When your physical body is exhausted, you sleep. Period.
But too often we’re not that physically tired. Oh, I didn’t say we don’t feel tired. We certainly do. We feel as exhausted as our ancestors did but it isn’t because we’ve done hard physical labor. Our psyches are exhausted. Our nerves are exhausted. Our minds are exhausted. So we don’t sleep. We get depressed.
If we all did just three things and did them everyday, most of us depression-prone types could manage our depression or banish it forever. Those three things are: eat a healthy diet, exercise vigorously for at least thirty minutes, and get enough sleep, probably at least eight hours. I can almost guarantee that those three habits would change our lives.
No, I’m not better at it than you. But I really try. Today was one stressful day. Insurance company calls. Doctor office calls. Hospital calls. It wasn’t a huge amount of money at stake but I just didn’t feel I owed it. Then there was the calls to our local energy company to get our power restored. (That’s a lo-o-o-ng story.) Plus, I had way too much caffeine this morning. I got on my elliptical machine and worked out HARD. Whew. I felt so much better when I was finished.
We make life (and our depression) so complicated when the answers are usually pretty simple. So whatever you’re doing tonight, if you’re tired and your circumstances are such that you can, just go to bed and get some restorative sleep.
- Mental Health And Sleep Therapy: How Overcoming Insomnia May Help Treat Depression (medicaldaily.com)
- Treating insomnia helping heal those suffering from depression (sandiego6.com)
- Insomnia Cure Boosts Success of Depression Treatment, Study Finds (news.health.com)