August 4, 2023

How to Sleep Better with Anxiety and Depression

Globally, anxiety and depression affects millions of people, and the common symptom that ties these two conditions is the inability of those who suffer from them to get quality sleep. And apart from difficulty in sleeping, anxiety and depression sufferers may significantly feel worse due to the interruptions in their sleep.

Poor sleep quality can result in poor mental wellness as well. Thankfully, these conditions are very manageable and treatable, especially if handled by the right team of health professionals and practised by the clients. There are myriad practical ways that those who suffer from anxiety and depression can employ to increase their sleep quality.

How to Sleep Better with Anxiety and Depression

1. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I)

CBT-I is proven effective against insomnia, and preliminary research suggests that it may also be helpful for people struggling with anxiety and depression. The fundamental reasons for issues regarding sleep are addressed head-on by CBT-I.

When using CBT-I, it actually aims to help the client to identify and to alter their negative beliefs and behaviours that keep them up at night. CBT for insomnia has also proven significant improvements when it comes to results.

2. Establish a Consistent Sleep Routine

To start your journey towards long and deep sleep, it’s advisable to stick to a sleeping routine that honors daytime and nighttime, which are times for working and winding down, respectively. This goes for both weekdays and weekends, because sticking to a regular bedtime and wake-up schedule helps to regulate your body clock and lets you get more peaceful sleep.

3. Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment

Make your bedroom more sleep-friendly by maintaining a lower temperature, ensuring that little to no light gets in, and make it as soundproof as you can. If you find it helpful for you, then you can opt to protect your ears by wearing earplugs, covering your eyes with an eye mask, or making use of a white noise machine.  

Feel free to invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows so that you can get a good night's sleep. You may also consider adjusting your sleeping position or investing in ergonomic support if you frequently wake up with back or neck pain.

4. Practise Relaxation Techniques

Make it a habit before bedtime to practise some relaxation techniques so you can help your mind slow down from constant stimulation throughout the day and get your body settled for bed.  

Some techniques you can do include yoga, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and deep breathing, among many other powerful relaxation practices that can help reduce your anxiety, get rid of depression symptoms one by one, and increase your overall well-being.

5. Limit Usage of Stimulants and Electronic Devices

Substances like caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol are all stimulants, which can all disrupt sleep. Further, the blue light from your electronic devices hinders melatonin production, which regulates sleep, so you must avoid scrolling through your phone at night.

Read More: How Online Counselling Can Improve Mental Health

6. Exercise Regularly

Participating in intensive physical activity throughout the day can help you achieve better quality sleep. It’s good to have at least 30 minutes of moderate level exercise every day during most days of the week. However, it’s advisable to refrain from working out in the hours leading up to bedtime, as it can activate and stimulate you, and you’re likely to find it harder to fall asleep.

7. Stress and Anxiety Management Techniques

Anxiety and depression go hand in hand with stress and anxiety. Fortunately, these symptoms can be alleviated, and the quality of your sleep can be improved if you incorporate tactics for managing stress into your daily routine. Journaling, practicing mindfulness, and reaching out for assistance from friends, family, or a mental health professional are all potential components of this strategy.

Read More: Trauma and sleep difficulties

8. Listen to ASMR or Audiobooks Before Sleeping

ASMR for sleep and relaxation has gained popularity in recent years. It can induce relaxation and aid in sleep by triggering pleasurable sensations through auditory and sensory stimuli such as whispers, gentle tapping, or soft brushing sounds.  

Likewise, audiobooks give their listeners a comforting and immersive experience that prepares the mind for slumber with soothing voices of narrators coupled with engaging storylines. Some good audiobooks for sleep can be found here.

9. Get a Good Massage

A massage for good sleep is always reliable. When performed by a trained professional, massage therapy has been shown to promote relaxation and decrease anxiety levels, both of which are crucial for a good night's rest.  

During a massage session, the therapist applies pressure to different muscles and tissues, releasing tension and triggering the body's relaxation response. This leads to a reduction in stress hormone levels and an increase in the production of feel-good hormones like serotonin and dopamine.

10. Make Use of Essential Oils

There is a growing body of scientific evidence suggesting that essential oils can indeed help improve sleep quality. Several studies have demonstrated the sleep-promoting effects of certain essential oil blends for sleep, such as lavender and chamomile, which have been shown to have calming properties and induce relaxation.  

These oils act on the brain's limbic system, specifically targeting areas responsible for emotions and anxiety regulation. By inhaling or topically applying these oils before bed, individuals may experience a decrease in stress levels and an enhanced sense of tranquility, thereby facilitating a more restful sleep.

Sleep Quality Matters

Enhancing the quality of sleep is absolutely necessary for people who suffer from anxiety and depression. You can improve their mental health and quality of sleep by taking the proactive measures mentioned in this article and putting those strategies into practice.  

Keep in mind that getting expert assistance from clinics such as Archways can provide individualized support and direction for the improvement of sleep and general mental health. Make getting enough sleep a top priority, and you'll soon see the wonderful effects it has on many aspects of your life.

Archways Is Here to Help

Archways is here to support you or anybody you know who is battling with issues such as anxiety, depression, or sleep problems. Archways is a private psychological clinic that offers individualized treatment programs to adults, adolescents, and children.  

The evidence-based therapies that we employ are grounded in cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT). We want to make people's lives better with our highly skilled and trained professionals. Archways is dedicated to helping those who want a fuller life. Reach us today at (519) 472-6612.