Arghhhh Sleep – lack of it, too much or just happening at the wrong time! You’ll probably experience all the above during your illness. Depression is hard work and debilitating. It can leave you with no energy or enthusiasm to do anything. You might not feel capable of getting up. You might wonder what the point in getting up is but it’s important to try and establish a day/night routine.
* It can be so hard to get out of bed even if you don’t have to face the world. I would allow yourself to have a couple of duvet days when you feel like that, but then make a real effort to get up each morning. No matter how much effort it takes to do it, have a shower, do your hair, clean your teeth and get dressed. Have a light breakfast then even if you then collapse on the sofa half an hour later, it is better for you than staying in bed during the day.
* If you are not working, try and go out for a little walk, hold your head up high, smile and say hello to any passer by. Even just for a few moments, it may lift your spirit. If it scares the life out of you, you will show yourself just how strong you really are.
* Keep your bed for sleeping in at night only, if you sleep during the day try to keep it to naps in a chair or sofa.
* It’s worth trying all the age old methods to help you sleep at night (hot milky drink, warm bath, lavender oil on a tissue under your pillow, dark room, window open, heating off, exercise during the day, play gently music in the background, try reading or an audio story cd, etc). If you have a partner who will give you a bit of a massage that can help relax you. I’m a big fan of using argan oil for massage as it has little smell and is non greasy, great for skin dryness too.
* One tip that’s not widely noted is with regards to your medication. I was sleeping in the day and not at night so my pharmacist suggested taking my anti-depressants at a different time of day which did actually help during one episode. Only do this with medical advise first as it is not suitable with all medication and wasn’t an option for me any other time. Or maybe a different prescription altogether might be the answer. Do speak to your Dr or Pharmacist about this.
I hope that this will help someone out there – please let me know if it does or if you’ve got any tips to pass on to help with restful sleep.
Links to my whole Mental Health Series:
1.Self Help For Your Mental Health
2. My Mental Health Story
3. Medical Help
4. Learn and Accept
5. A Mental Health Diet
6. Sleep and Duvet Days
7. Panic Attacks
8. Suicide Awareness
9. Talk Support
10. Qi Gong & Tai Chi
11. Meditation, Hypnosis and Relaxation
12. Help for Carers and Friends