If you have been diagnosed with depression and you’re undergoing therapy with a depression counselor, there’s a good chance that you’re dealing with a number of symptoms of depression. One of the most debilitating of those symptoms is insomnia, or the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep; although it can be hard to determine if insomnia is a symptom of depression or if depression is a symptom of insomnia. Regardless of which came first, if you are having a hard time falling asleep or you wake repeatedly during the night, your insomnia must be addressed to improve your overall quality of life.
Stop Worrying About Falling Asleep
If sleep is an issue, worrying about sleep can be a full-time pursuit. And the more you worry about whether or not you’re going to fall asleep, the less likely you’ll be able to do it. A depression counselor will tell you that because insomnia can lead to more problems like increased anxiety, frustration, exhaustion and an inability to concentrate, it’s important that you learn how to focus on calming your mind rather than on falling asleep.
Develop A Calming Bedtime Routine
Just as a calming bedtime routine is important for children to wind down at the end of a busy day, it’s also important for grownups. Choose a specific time late in the evening to turn off all of your electronics – television, computer, smartphone. Get into your pajamas and get washed up and ready for bed. Once you’re ready for bed, read a book or do a relaxation exercise like meditation or deep breathing before you close your eyes. If sleep still doesn’t come, don’t spend an inordinate amount of time tossing and turning; go to another room and find a relaxing chair in which to read or do more relaxation exercises. In no case should you turn your electronics back on.
Focus On Your Body
If you still have trouble calming your mind and falling asleep, focus on relaxing your body. Start by doing a simple breathing exercise in which you slowly breathe in through your nose and exhale through your mouth. After doing that a few times, breathe in and out slowly through your nose. You can then relax your muscles starting at your toes. Curl your toes tightly for a count of seven and then relax them. Do this for every muscle group going up your body from your toes to your neck. Remember to lower your thermostat to around 65℉ for an optimal sleeping temperature – think bears and hibernation.
If you suffer from depression and insomnia is one of your symptoms, talk to a depression counselor if self-help techniques aren’t working. Call Insight Child & Family Counseling at (972) 426-9500 or visit www.j9n.83e.myftpupload.com to schedule an appointment for a consultation.