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Getting a restful night’s sleep is often hard in today’s world. Adults constantly deal with stressful jobs and relationships while juggling multiple schedules for their spouses and kids. So, it’s no surprise that one out of every three adults have insomnia at some point in their life. But this sleeping disorder is often compounded by another mental health issue: depression.
At Brain Forest, we often treat adults with various mental health issues, including depression. While many of our patients express concern over their mood, behavior, and ability to handle stress, some hardly consider the impact depression has on their sleep cycle. So, let’s take a more in-depth look at how depression and insomnia are related and how neurofeedback can help.
What is Insomnia?
According to the physician guidelines and the Sleep Foundation, insomnia is defined as “difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, even when a person has the chance to do so.” People living with insomnia often feel dissatisfied with their sleep and are usually low on energy, have difficulty concentrating, and experience a decrease in performance at work or school. Stress is often the number one cause, and most adults experience acute – or brief – stints of insomnia. However, some adults can experience chronic insomnia, which is poor sleep for at least three nights per week for at least three months.
What is Clinical Depression?
Clinical depression is a mood disorder that can make you feel sad, helpless, worthless, and hopeless. It’s natural for everyone to feel down and blue from time to time, but if you’re feeling anxious or down for long periods with no relief, you may want to consider talking to your doctor. If left untreated or unmanaged, clinical depression can take a toll on your social life, personal life, work life, and everything in between. You might even be biologically predisposed to clinical depression if an immediate family member is a sufferer.
Other signs of clinical depression include:
- Loss of appetite
- Low self-esteem
- Loss of interest
How Depression & Insomnia Are Related
Medical experts advise adults to get anywhere between seven to nine hours of sleep in order to wake feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. However, even without depression or insomnia, studies have shown that the average adult gets just 6.9 hours of sleep each night. Still, the inability to fall asleep and stay asleep remains one of the most critical signs of clinical depression, as is oversleeping. However, it’s important to note that it does not necessarily mean you are depressed just because you have insomnia. Insomnia is only one of the first clues that something within your brain is malfunctioning, and a lack of sleep can undoubtedly play a role in your mood and behavior throughout the day.
For those who experience insomnia because of their depression, treatment methods often include medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, or a combination of the two. Some have even found success with being on a strict sleeping cycle and avoiding naps throughout the day. However, in many cases, doctors often prescribe antidepressants such as SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. In severe cases where the insomnia and depression are overwhelming, patients are put on sedating antidepressants or hypnotic medication.
While these treatment options are effective, they may not be right for everyone. If you’re looking for a more natural and holistic approach, there are some alternatives. These alternatives include regular exercise, meditation, avoiding caffeine or alcohol, avoiding bright screens right before bed, and even neurofeedback. With neurofeedback, you re-train your brain and encourage it to function correctly through mindful exercises and positive reinforcements. This drug-free approach helps your brain improve its function, which can restore it to normal levels and improve your symptoms from depression and insomnia.
Restore Control Over Your Mind
Neurofeedback is a non-invasive, drug-free approach to treating mental and mood disorders such as PTSD, depression, ADD/ADHD, anxiety, and autism. If you’re looking for a way to regain control over your mind and take back your life, it starts with the Brain Forest treatment center. Contact us online for a free consultation or give us a call at (317) 288-9828 today.