Night Owls Beware. The Link Uncovered Between Depression and Lack of Sleep
Recent research suggests that night owls could very well be subject to mental health disorders.
A study* out of Florida took on data from almost 500 people with type 2 diabetes. The researchers found that people who stayed up late had more symptoms of depression than their early-to-bed peers. The study also highlighted the important finding that sleep quality is associated with depression too.
The lack of production of melatonin can also be a factor in controlling mood-related symptoms that are ultimately related to depression. Melatonin production is impacted by exposure to light during the night time.
Night owls will often skip important periods of sleep restoration due to their need to still get up early to meet deadlines for work, school, etc. This lack of sleep can also be a promoter for depression. If you’re finding it hard to get to sleep, there is some research that also suggests insomnia can be a precursor to depression and double your chances of falling to the illness.
Sleep therapists are teaching people to reserve their bed for the main purpose of sleep. Plan regular waking times, get up once you wake up, steer clear of eating, reading, watching the TV or other similar activity in bed, and don’t take naps during the day. If you are finding it hard to get some shut-eye, you could invest in these basic rules as a starting point.
Some other tips we have found to help with getting your weary head to bed are listed below.
- Try adjusting your sleep times, so you are asleep by 10 pm at the latest. This is when the production of melatonin usually takes hold to make you feel like sleeping.
- Wear blue light-blocking amber glasses after the sun goes down. You can wear them casually around the house, but in particular, make sure they are worn for any night-time screen viewing and screen work. This will help block out the light that slows your melatonin production and helps you get to sleep. It has been proven that people who make use of these glasses experience better sleep quality too.
- Try using a salt lamp instead of bright lights inside your bedroom where possible.
- Install some blue light blocking software to your phone or computer. This will toggle the colour of the screen as the day turns into night.
- Try using a sleep mask if you have unwanted light filtering through to your bedroom. This could help to block out the light distraction for you.
- Turn off any televisions or devices you don’t need overnight at the wall to eliminate unnecessary lights from standby buttons, etc. that may disrupt your sleep.
If you’re finding it hard to rest your noggin, Bondi Beach Tea Co. has a tasty blend of sleep tea that could help relax your body and your mind. Made with all-natural ingredients, our herbal infusion could be another helpful tool in the fight against sleep deprivation, insomnia and depression.
*AJMC.com – Being a night owl linked with depression for those with diabetes