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How Depression Affects Your Sleep

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How Depression Affects Your Sleep

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Growing evidence suggests a link between depression and sleep disruption. Neuroscientists propose physiological and neurological changes to explain this association:

Altered circadian rhythms: Depression may disrupt the body's natural sleep-wake cycle, leading to irregular sleep patterns and insomnia

Neurotransmitter Imbalance: Depression can upset the balance of mood-regulating neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine, affecting sleep quality.

Reduced slow-wave sleep: Depression is linked to a decrease in slow-wave activity, contributing to daytime sleepiness and fatigue.

Strategies for Better Sleep with Depression

Establish a calming nighttime routine: Engage in activities like deep breathing, taking a warm bath, or reading before bed to signal relaxation to the brain and facilitate sleep onset.

Consistent physical activities: Regular exercise can improve mood and sleep quality, but avoid vigorous workouts close to bedtime as they may disrupt sleep initiation.

Effective sleep hygiene: Practice techniques such as limiting screen time before bed and avoiding caffeine and alcohol intake to promote better sleep quality.

Commit to a consistent sleep-wake cycle: Maintain a regular sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, which strengthens the body's internal sleep-wake cycle.

Create a relaxing sleep environment: Ensure your bedroom is conducive to sleep by using comfortable bedding, dimming lights, and maintaining a cool temperature.

Consult a mental health professional: Seek guidance from qualified professionals if depression significantly impacts your sleep to explore treatment options tailored to your needs.

Adherence to medication: If prescribed medication for depression or sleep disturbances, follow your doctor's instructions carefully and seek medical advice before making any changes.

Practice relaxation techniques: Incorporate mindfulness or meditation practices before bedtime to reduce stress levels and promote relaxation for better sleep.

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Depression often disrupts sleep, causing insomnia or excessive sleepiness. It alters brain chemistry, disturbs circadian rhythms, and impacts deep sleep. Improving sleep hygiene, maintaining a regular sleep schedule, seeking professional help, and creating a relaxing sleep environment can help manage sleep disturbances in people with depression.

Polysleep’s Takeaway

  1. Depression significantly affects sleep, with a high prevalence of insomnia and hypersomnia among those affected.
  2. Various physiological changes in the brain, including neurotransmitter imbalances and alterations in circadian rhythms, contribute to sleep disturbances in depression.
  3. Strategies such as practicing good sleep hygiene, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, seeking professional guidance, and creating a calming sleep environment can help individuals with depression improve their sleep quality.
  4. Addressing sleep disruptions is crucial in managing depression and promoting overall well-being.
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