Depression and Insomnia Treatment
Depression And Insomnia Treatment.
I suspect the majority of us each morning reach for a coffee to help boost mood, increase productivity and generally put a bounce in our step. We probably reach quicker or far more regularly for that coffee when our sleep the night before has been poor. We have all been there when a day at work has been a little sidelined due to a poor night’s sleep, leaving us with ‘brain fog’ and feeling lethargic for the best part of the day.
Intrinsically we know how the loss of sleep can impact us, especially when sleep is deprived for a prolonged period. But, how are Insomnia and Depression linked, are there treatment options that exist that can help both Depression and Insomnia?
The Connection between Depression and Insomnia
Our physical and mental health are connected via bi-directional relationships. Simply put, each has an impact on the other. Depression can be impacted by sleep, and sleep can be impacted by Depression.
A night of interrupted or poor quality sleep can lead to feelings of fatigue, lethargy, and poor mood the following day. On the flip side, a depressed mood can result in time spent lying awake in bed trying to fall asleep.
Given the tight connection between Insomnia and Depression, it’s no surprise that 75% of people with Depression have Insomnia, and up to 90% of depression patients develop Insomnia. Hence Insomnia is one of the core diagnostic symptoms of Depression.
Because of this close bi-directional connection, it can make diagnosis more difficult to determine and, therefore, treatment plans harder to form. More recently, it has become commonplace (for this reason) to combine treatment options, covering both Depression and Insomnia symptoms. This increases the likelihood of success. More recent studies have also gone one step further and recommended insomnia patients, even those not suffering from Depression, should be treated for both symptom types. This is due to the significant risk of the onset of future depression symptoms due to bi-directional relationships.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy For Insomnia
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBTi) is the most effective and recommended first-line treatment. It is a multi-component therapy that aims to identify and target the underlying causes of Insomnia. CBTi results in gradual improvements sustained long after treatment is complete. CBTi commonly includes four to eight weekly/fortnightly sessions delivered by a trained therapist.
In CBTi, steps include the control of stimulus, sleep restriction, sleep hygiene, cognitive therapy, and relaxation training.
Light Brainwave Entrainment stimulates the brain into entering a specific state by using high-frequency LED light. This light recalibrates brain activity, evoking the brain’s frequency following response. Doing so induces a specific or desirable brainwave state, be that relaxation, meditative, focused and clearer thinking. Simply put, brainwave entrainment pushes the brain into a particular state, adjusting or interrupting the brain’s response to certain situations. Basically, reprogramming how your brain processes and responds.
Brainwave Entrainment helps many people facing various mental health and happiness-related challenges, including PTSD, trauma, Depression, stress, anxiety, Insomnia and chronic fatigue. It is a simple yet effective way to lead your mind into states you might usually find difficult to reach, allowing you to experience what those states feel like.
Practical Insomnia Support Tips
Positive Sleeping Environment
- Keep the space dark and quiet.
- Remove distractions such as televisions and computers.
- Have a good quality, comfortable bed.
- Commit to a regular bedtime and wake-up time.
- Avoid staying in bed while awake for an extended period of time: Relax elsewhere
- Avoid eating a meal three hours before bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine or alcohol before sleep.
- Try not to do any physical exercise within four hours of going to sleep
- Try to bypass stressful situations before bed.
- Don’t nap too close to bedtime
The aim of stimulus control is to associate our bed with sleeping only.
- Only go to bed when you’re tired
- Limit bedroom activities to sleep and sex
- If you don’t feel sleepy within 10 minutes, get up and move to another room;
- Try to get out of bed at the same time every day.
‘Sleep Hygiene’ is a term employed for controlling a person’s behaviour and surroundings that precede sleep. This process means limiting substances within around 5 – 6 hours of going to bed, such as alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine, which are known to inhibit proper sleep.
For the person who has Insomnia, the environment in which they sleep is very important, including the environment they are in before they try to sleep. People who have Insomnia must engage in relaxing and calming activities prior to trying to sleep, for example, listening to calming music, reading, taking a bath, writing, and so on. Stimulating activities, such as being around bright lights, using a computer, and watching television, should be avoided.