SLEEP AND DEPRESSION

I’m feeling much better this morning after a good night of sleep. I was feeling a bit blue yesterday. And why not? I had been mostly sleepless most of the night before. I had lived that way, mostly on 4-5 hours of sleep most of my working life as a nurse. I prided myself on how well I did on how little I slept. I was foolish. I did not think about the consequences of sleep deprivation. I do now. I am reminded each time I am sleepless.

I felt the beginning of a sore throat on waking. Oh-oh! I hope I am not getting sick. It went away after getting up, washing face and brushing my teeth. I remind myself to drink lots of fluids. I remind myself not to push for ‘accomplishments’ and speed. I have no ‘job’ and ‘boss’ to answer to. I can take it easy and take care of myself.

The sun is playing hide and seek, more hide than the other. It peeks out as I’m tapping. Then it disappears. I feel shadows creeping into my body. I feel them and let them be. The day can be full of tricks. I’ve been here before. The September I went to China, it was cloudy everywhere. In China it was because of the pollution and smog. Back home it was how the weather was. It stayed dark through all  of autumn. It was my most troublesome time with sleep and depression. I invested in a Remington daylight simulating clock . It’s much like the clock from hammacher.com. I went to sleep to the sound of gentle ocean waves and the lighting of the setting sun. I woke to birds chirping and the rising sun. I did not use the aromatherapy bead option. It worked well for me. I used it for a few years.

At the time I did not link my depression and sleeping patterns to my profession. I mostly blamed it on myself. But I also sought treatment and did research on depression and seasonal affective disorder -SAD. I attended workshops given by Dept. of Psychology, University of Saskatchewan. I was assessed for light therapy at the clinic in the hospital. I bought a light box. It was effective. I took up swimming. Then I renovated the house, putting in bigger windows and adding a sunroom. It was well worth the cost.

I’m looking back as I sit, tap tapping here. It has been very difficult, all of it. But I have to say that all of it have enriched me also. I had to reach out and into myself for solutions, to make a liveable and meanful life. I could not just sit and be overwhelmed and depressed by it all. There was always something for me to work on. I don’t think of them as problems but rather solutions. What’s working for me today? So many things -gardening, writing, painting, drawing, aerobics, learning a new interest, conversations. Life is always a wondrous thing.

What works for you?

 

About hafong

Hello! My name is (Leung) Hafong alias Lily Leung. You always say the last name first….that is the Chinese way. That is my partner lurking behind me. Since this is my blog, I won’t mention his name. But this is a rather cool picture. You see me and yet you don’t…sort of the way I feel about myself most of my life. So this blog is a self-exploration, an archeology dig of some sort. My tools…..words of a thousand or so at a sitting. I will try for that.
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3 Responses to SLEEP AND DEPRESSION

  1. Terry says:

    Wonderful blog post as usual Lily!!! Gratitude, insight, knowledge and persistence all result in positive results!! Taking care of yourself after caring for others so long, smart🙏. Enjoy the day.

  2. Irregular sleeping patterns, poor sleeping patterns and insomnia can definitely have an impact on how we function and perform and it definitely has significant impact on our mental health. I think that this blog post was very important because most of the time people don’t prioritise sleep and a proper sleeping routine. It’s important for us to realise that sleep is important and that we should start prioritising it and developing good sleep habits. I am currently raising awareness on creating mentally healthy workplaces and have written a post on how sleep is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Not only will getting a good night’s rest help you perform better at work but maintaining a good sleeping pattern is beneficial to your mental health. You can read the post here: http://lletsworkonit.wordpress.com/2017/09/17/how-to-get-your-sleep-back-on-track/ MP

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