End Sleep Deprivation.
Create Restful Sleep
Fighting insomnia and sleep deprivation is frustrating for many, but
just like ending depression, there is not a magic pill for the cure.
Nevertheless, there is a cure for sleeplessness, and for depression!
Follow these depression self help techniques to end the cycle of restless sleep and depression.
Unless you are suffering from an illness that is keeping you from
sleeping, you are likely following a set of habits that are very
effective at “keeping you awake.”
The following steps will change your life. These techniques will
improve your restful sleep, end insomnia and sleep deprivation, so you
can feel rested and refreshed:
- Pocket Your Worries. Pocket your worries before your bedtime routine.
Well before bedtime, write down any dominant thoughts or
worries that go through your mind. Put away the paper containing your
worries. Your worries will be safe and sound, waiting for you to “worry”
about them at a better time.
Schedule the "pocket you worries" session late afternoon each day. You can review your worry note, and have a problem solving session about your worries.
Many people cannot help over-thinking about their problems, and
fidget all night thinking of possible solutions. Your mind needs
permission to forget problems, or at least set them aside for a more
- Go To Bed At The Same Time, Every Night. Even on weekends. This is probably the biggest culprit of sleep deprivation. We tend to have no plan or routine for bedtime.
Figure out how many hours of sleep you need to be truly rested
and refreshed. Then calculate the time you need to be in bed.
to that bed time.
Most people need between 7 hours to 9 hours to feel rested, but it all depends on the individual.
- Have A Bedtime Routine. Your routine can be as
simple as changing into your sleep clothing, and brushing your teeth.
Some may like to shower or bathe before bed.
The point is to start your bed time routine at the same time.
Having a bed time routine will prepare your body and subconscious to
the idea that it's time for bed.
- Avoid Over-timulation At Least One Hour Before Bed. Avoid television, video games or any activity that will stimulate your brain. Keep it calm for the last hour before bed.
- Dim The Lights At Least One Hour Before Bed. Dimming lights signals the body that it is soon time for bed.
Artificial lighting can trick the body into staying awake.
Researchers have found that artificial lighting affects melatonin levels which can cause sleeplessness and health problems.
- Stay In Bed. If you can’t sleep, keep the lights off. Do slow, deep breathing meditation instead--in bed.
Even if it takes you a long time to fall asleep, spending that
time in meditation relaxes your mind and body, so you are getting rest
even if you are conscious.
Staying in bed may be challenging, but you’ll be much closer to sleep, than if you get up or start doing some other activity.
Even doing boring stuff stimulates your brain, contributing to
sleep deprivation. When you are up and walking you are not going to
Do not start wondering around looking for stuff to do. Your bed is where sleep is going to happen, so remember to stay in it.
Do not read a book in bed. This stimulates your brain as well.
Do not get up and do something "relaxing." Getting up
will not work with what we are doing. If you cannot sleep, your brain
is overstimulated as it is. Getting up will only increase the
- Pocket The Worries That Keep You Up. Once in bed, if you keep thinking about your worries, write them down.
Keep a notepad beside your bed, and write down every worry or recurring thought that’s keeping you up.
Make it a quick note so you can be sure to remember what it is
the next day when you read it again. Then put it away, and schedule
your worry for the next day.
This way you can feel free to relax, and you know you have a scheduled time to actually do all the worrying you want later.
- Interrupt Your Interrupting-Thoughts. If thoughts just continue flood your mind, interrupt those thoughts with a guided meditation.
First, interrupt your thoughts with consciously
concentrating on your breathing. Every time a thought appears,
concentrate on taking a slow deep breath. Repeat every time an
interrupting thought pops back into your mind.
Second, use a guided meditation. Some of my favorite
techniques are thoughts of flying through the air as a bird, over a
beautiful place of my choice, enjoying the beautiful and peaceful
scenes, and/or landing gently on a peaceful running brook.
To keep you focused, describe and see as much detail as possible. Do this meditation until you fall into sleep.
- When It Is Time To Get Up, "Get Up." Even if you feel tired, don’t stay in bed.
If you stay in bed until late, you continue disrupting your
sleep cycle and you’ll end up without restful sleep the next night. End
this cycle of sleep deprivation.
If you feel tired, while in bed take about a minute to get to your Alpha state of mind with deep breathing meditation.
The extra oxygen and mind clearing helps to perk you up. You
should feel lighter and more restful after a short meditation session in
Get up right away and do something that will keep you awake, such as showering, getting dressed, preparing breakfast, etc.
If you did not have enough restful sleep then getting up will ensure you sleep better the next night.
- Avoid Naps. If you need to rest during the
day, sit and meditate a few minutes, calming and resting your body and
your mind. Then continue your day.
A nap during the day partially takes care of your sleeping
needs. However, at night you’ll have trouble sleeping, and the cycle of
- Exercise Daily. Exercise is invigorating, and at the same time helps your body to be tired at the end of the day.
Try to schedule your workouts in the morning or at least three or more hours before bedtime.
- Keep Your Room Cool. A cool room usually helps our body sleep better.
- Keep It Dark And Quiet. Noise and light also contribute to sleep deprivation. Make sure your curtains provide enough darkness.
If there is outside noise you can’t control, use a white noise sound machine, or wear earplugs.
- Avoid Caffeine. Avoid caffeine completely.
Caffeine is a stimulant, and it provides a short-term,
temporary boost to your mood. However, caffeine affects your ability to
self-balance your moods in the long run and cause sleep deprivation.
If you are using the depression self help techniques, caffeine is
actually going to fight against the self control that you want to
achieve. Besides, you’ll feel so good, that caffeine will no longer be
- Avoid Alcohol. Although alcohol makes you sleepy, it actually prevents restful sleep. Besides, alcohol is a depressant.
- Quit Or Limit Nicotine. If you cannot quit
nicotine all together, limit the use at night. Nicotine is a stimulant
and will contribute to sleep deprivation.
Having a good night’s restful sleep feels so good and is very rewarding.
Especially after a long period of insomnia, sleep deprivation and
Start a habit of getting good restful sleep, and you’ll be well on your way to ending depression quickly.
Follow these sleep suggestion steps along in your depression self help journey, and you’ll end depression.
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