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How’s your sleep?
One of my most common questions I ask to patients during therapy sessions,
Martha is depressed and anxious everyday. At work, she finds herself stressed and tearing up for no obvious immediate reasons,
Lately, she broke up with her long time boyfriend. This aggravated her already worsening psychological state.
“How’s your sleep, Martha?” I asked her over Skype.
“I’ve not been sleeping enough for years now. With the breakup, I almost don’t sleep anymore. I can’t function during the day as a result,” she responded.
Her poor sleep habits are driving and fueling her continuing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and crying spells.
Remember that sleep and mental health are closely interrelated.
Whether it’s trauma-related depression or relationship breakdowns, a primary intervention is always striving to change the sleep habits.
I did some sleep monitoring with Martha. And prescribed some helpful vitamins to aid her.
Over a few months, she found herself progressively improving mentally and emotionally with improved sleep habits.
A sleep therapy writer, John Duffy, recommends:
“Think of sleep as a process that starts at least one hour before you actually go to bed. Create an atmosphere of winding down in your home ... Leave the devices behind ... Watch a light episode of a favorite family show together. Protect some time to read. Dim the lights, and set the late evening apart from the remainder of the day.”