Lack of sleep is notoriously associated with depression. Traditionally, it is one of the symptoms of this condition. In recent years, though, it’s been found that lack of sleep is not just a symptom, but a possible cause of depression episodes. This is extremely important for teens. Let’s explore the relationship between sleep and depression.
People with depression often have their sleep impacted.
Insomnia is lack of sleep
Too much (hypersomnia) or they can’t get enough sleep. Depression affects motivation, which can make it hard to get out of bed and do anything. Nighttime is also a time when depression is likely to peak due to the fact that it’s when your mind is allowed to wander. Especially when you sleep alone, loneliness can get worse and you might start to worry about the past and present. Negative thoughts can pop up, making it hard to relax.
Some studies have found that lack of sleep can lead to depression, too.
One proposed reason is that the amygdala, a part of the brain that deals with emotions and anxiety, is affected by not sleeping enough. Of course, adequate sleep is crucial for both mental and physical health. The body needs rest to rejuvenate after the day and to prepare for the next day. For teens, who are going through a period of development in their brains and the rest of their bodies, this is especially important.
Lack of sleep tips to help the teen in your life better at night:
Avoid late night snacking. If you eat too much late at night, you’re forcing your digestive system to work when it should be resting. This makes it harder to not only get to sleep but have restful quality sleep.
Turn off the light. Especially if you’re sensitive to light, keep all light in your bedroom at night to a minimum. Dark curtains can be very useful for this. Being in darkness lowers the stimulation that keeps you up at night.
Avoid technology late at night.
The blue light from your phone or your TV can make it hard to get to sleep. While there are mobile apps that turn down the blue light on your phone (and these could be very useful), settling down by avoiding technology would be a good way to prepare yourself for sleep.
Keep active in the day. This might sound obvious but, it can be hard to go to sleep if you don’t feel tired. The thing is, though, you still need sleep. Being active in the day like doing exercise is a good way to get your body to want to get the sleep that your mind needs.
Of course, every case of sleep difficulty is different, and it might take trial and error to find the solution that’s right for your teen. Still, if we focus on helping or teens get the sleep they need, we help them to be healthier in both their bodies and their minds.