Understanding Depressive Symptoms – Sleep Changes -Happiness Episode 19c


welcome to happiness isn’t brain surgery with Doc’s nights this podcast was created to provide you the information and tools doc Snipes gives her clients so that you two can start living happier our website doc Snipes calm has even more resources videos and handouts and even interactive sessions with Doc Snipes to help you apply what you learn go to doc Snipes calm to learn more I’d like to welcome everybody to happiness’s and brain surgery with Doc’s knives practical tools to improve your mood and quality of life in this presentation we’re going to continue talking about the causes of depressive symptoms and ways to address them in the previous two podcasts we started talking about depressive symptoms and I really want you to look at these symptoms as just that symptoms yes when you see several of them together they can mean depression they also can mean something different like hypothyroid or hormone imbalances so it’s important to look at your symptoms figure out what makes them worse or better and try to identify what will help a particular symptom a lot of times if one symptom starts remitting starts going away you’ll find that a lot of the other symptoms have a positive response to that as well so picking some of the symptoms that you have that are most bothersome starting to address those may give you a faster progression toward happiness than choosing something global like depression and going well I want my depression to go away well everybody’s depression is a little different and if you start getting enough sleep and aren’t fatigued and foggy headed all the time you’re probably not going to feel quite as depressed so we’re going to continue with that line of thought right now we’ve done other presentations on sleep disturbances and this one’s probably going to be a shorter one but I think it’s important to recognize how important quality sleep is to everybody not just to you know a couple of people are not just two children it is really important for everyone to get quality sleep and almost every single night so what causes sleep disruption caffeine will stay in your system for 12 hours so if you’re drinking caffeine and you know I drink caffeine is it the best for you well the jury’s out on that but if you do drink caffeine and you’re not willing to give it up be aware that it stays in your body for 12 hours I go to bed well really early but I try to stop drinking caffeine by 10:30 or 11 o’clock in the morning that way it gets out of my system by 10:30 or 11 o’clock at night I’ve already gone to bed by then but at least my sleep after that point is theoretically less interrupted or less bothered by stimulants in my system nicotine’s lasts for you know one or two hours in your system so if you are someone who uses nicotine products you don’t want to use those within one to two hours of bedtime decongestant and you know when you have a cold it’s kind of a toss-up do you want to sleep and be able to breathe or do you want to avoid the decongestant and then not be able to breathe and not sleep either way your sleeps probably going to get disrupted but do be aware when you’re taking decongestants they can last in your in your system for three to six hours so if you’re taking them you may not be getting the best sleep which is another reason why when we’re sick we typically feel kind of worn down and fatigued and weary all the time because for one reason or another our sleep is getting disrupted alcohol is another thing that disrupts your sleep plus or minus one hour per drink it takes your body about an hour to metabolize and ounce of alcohol so you know if you drink six shots right before bed that’s going to take at least six hours to get out of your system plus a whole other host of problems that drinking that much alcohol close to bedtime can cause including sleep apnea so pay attention to what you’re drinking and eating within a few hours of bed and your caffeine unfortunately that’s one of those long run things try to at least cut down your caffeine after about 10:00 or 11:00 in the morning antihistamines and sleep aids can help you get to sleep faster but they don’t necessarily help you get quality sleep you can judge for yourself when you take if you take sleep aids when you take them when you wake up maybe you slept 10 hours well that’s wonderful but do you feel rested revived and ready to go stress disrupt sleep so you know get rid of stress you’ll sleep like a baby and if we could do that we would all asleep like a baby but it doesn’t work that way I want you to understand the importance of stress management at least on your sleep though because stress increase increases cortisol cortisol is your stress hormone it’s your fight or flight hormone which reduces serotonin why well serotonin is your calming hormone so you can’t be calm and ready to fight or flee at the same time so serotonin goes down norepinephrine goes up you get ready for that fight or flee when serotonin goes down we know that melatonin which is the hormone responsible for helping you get sleep also goes down so if your cortisol is up your shara tonin’s down you’re not going to sleep really well think about like a soldier in a foxhole or a new parent I know when I was a new parent for both of my children even you know the second one it didn’t get any better when she would sleep every time she would turn over in her bed I would wake up and I would check on her in her in her cradle next to me I was not sleeping as well was I stressed yeah I was a little bit stressed but I think that part of that just goes along with being a new mommy however I was not getting good sleep during that period of time stress management means trying to eliminate as many unnecessary stressors as possible there is going to be stress in life that’s just part of adulting understanding that so once you have all the unnecessary stuff eliminated then you’ve got the unavoidable stressors okay how do you deal with those well guided imagery can help basically you’re saying I have these unavoidable stressors but there’s nothing I can do about them and if I don’t get a good night’s sleep I’m going to be even is able to deal with them tomorrow so using guided imagery going to an imaginary island or vacation place or whatever it is can help for me guided imagery is a little bit different I find that I sleep like a baby if I lay down and I imagine how to plan out my garden how I’m going to plant the plant in my garden the next season and kind of seeing what that’s going to look like and getting involved in that mentally I’m occupied in that activity so I’m not thinking about these other stressors so whatever works for you you’re going to need to find you know your little trick meditation works really well for some people not so well for others it’s something worth trying and remember meditation is different than mindfulness meditation is really focusing on your breathing and engaging in very thoughtful activities progressive muscular relaxation and the great thing about PMR is you can find a lot of YouTube videos that will walk you through a progressive muscular relaxation script so you don’t have to do it on your own you can put it on your mobile device you can set that video to play so it plays it walks you through progressively relaxing each and every muscle in your body and generally it goes from top to bottom but there is a method to the madness and you start noticing the difference between tense muscles and relaxed muscles and again you’re focusing on your breath and your muscles if you’re focusing on that you’re not focusing on the project that you got to do at work tomorrow so to deal with stress in summary in short get rid of the unnecessary stressors as best as you can delegate eliminate prioritize then with whatever’s left over know that it has to be there know that something has to be done with it but also know that if you don’t get a good night’s sleep you’re going to be worn down and you’re going to be less able to deal with it so find ways to help you get sleep another thing that impairs sleep is sleeping too much or taking long naps during day when you sleep too much your circadian rhythms get out of whack the same thing with taking naps during the day your body has this rhythm where your cortisol goes up and down throughout the day at a certain point it knows it’s time to release some melatonin so you can start to get sleeping if you’re sleeping too much it’s not sure when it’s supposed to release what your hunger hormones also get all out of whack so you’re probably not sure if you’re supposed to be eating or sleeping or whatever so set a sleep schedule know and if you’re like me I need my sleep and I love my sleep I usually try to schedule in 9 hours for sleep even to this very day so set a sleep schedule try to keep pretty close to it now does that mean you can’t ever go out with your friends until midnight or 2:00 in the morning or whatever works for you no you don’t do that every once in a while because that’s part of living life and having fun in general try to go to sleep even on the weekends about the same time every night and wake up about the same time give or take an hour or two you know sometimes on the weekend you may sleep in an extra hour and that’s okay your body needs it great create a sleep routine within within an hour and a half of going to bed each night you should do roughly the same three or four things when you have children at home or when you were a child your parents probably got you from preschool or wherever it was brought you home you had playtime you ate dinner you took a bath you read a story and they touched you tuck you into bed that’s generally the path that goes when children have a set sleep schedule you may do things slightly differently but that’s the body begins to expect that so when the child starts taking their bath their body goes okay we’re getting ready to go into sleep routine into sleep mode so the brain starts secreting melatonin and everything it needs to so the child can go to sleep you’ll notice that children who have a steady sleep routine tend to go to sleep easier because their body’s ready for it if you have a child who doesn’t have a set sleep routine it usually is harder to get them to go to bed because they sort of quote set their own bedtime whenever they’re sleeping a sleep routine will kind of guarantee that you’re going to get sleepy about the same time every night you want to try to avoid naps longer than 45 minutes during the day if you have problems getting quality sleep because once you pass that 45-minute threshold they’ve found that you start going into deep sleep and once you start going into deep sleep that’s when your circadian rhythms start getting thrown off now does an afternoon nap help yeah they’ve actually found research that says a short afternoon nap you know 20 to 30 minutes actually increases norepinephrine levels which helps you increase your focus and your energy for the rest of the day so a short nap in the afternoon is great if you can get it but don’t take one where you are zonked out lead out and you kind of can’t get your get your bearings as soon as you wake up seasonal affective disorder also will disrupt your sleep and this isn’t necessarily just because of a season I know here in Tennessee this year it has rained so much it seems like it is always overcast and it’s always dreary outside or at least it is for days on end which can get start making people feel a little bit cranking they speculate that partly because your brain isn’t getting these signals for when it’s supposed to be awake and when it’s supposed to be asleep but they’re also speculating that vitamin D has something to do with it and we know that vitamin D is our sunlight hormone so anyway what can you do about it you can’t change the weather you can’t change the season daylight replacement lights are helpful now that is not the same as light therapy light therapy are really bright lights better directed at you and there you have to get very specific for those but it does help if you are in indoors try to get an office with a window try to go outside periodically try to keep the bulbs in your office the day light spectrum lights and keep it bright so your brain knows okay we’re awake it’s time to do whatever we do if you have allergies that will also disrupt sleep so air purifiers running in your room I keep an air purifier running in my room I shut the bedroom door when I leave during the day so when I go in theoretically all the air in there has recirculated several times while I’ve been gone changing your sheets I am bad about letting the dog sleep on the bed so I have to change my sheets over a couple of days because they shed their little shed and monsters and I’m allergic to dog dander go figure now ideally if you’re allergic to animals you wouldn’t let them in the bed but you know do what I say not as I do I guess so allergies are another thing to consider and this is true of pollen and any other kind of allergies anything you can do to make your sleeping area hypoallergenic is going to help pain and hot spots will also keep you up your body perceives pain as a stressor or as a threat if it feels it feels pain it’s saying something’s wrong here and you are vulnerable so you’re going to secrete some cortisol which is going to keep you from sleeping as well it’s also probably going to wake you up I have chronic shoulder pain and my shoulder wakes me up a lot so I know that you know on the days that my shoulder is bothering me more I’m probably not going to sleep as well at night so I need to take some action to try to minimize that in general you want to invest in a good pillow and a cooling mattress topper the old mattress toppers that were the memory foam well they were really soft and squishy and you may have liked them they conform to your body through heat as the mattress topper heated up it would conform to your body but then it would hold the heat so a lot of people found that they were getting sweaty and they were getting uncomfortable on those mattress toppers the newer generation doesn’t hold the heat the same way so it might be worth investing in one of the newer mattress toppers that has the cooling technology in it same thing for the pillows they have the memory foam pillows that will stay cool and help you stay cooler or at least regulate your temperature a little bit better those are all really important keeping your spine so it’s not cranked up and you’re not waking up with a kink in your neck will help you not only get better sleep but probably be in a better mood and more pain-free throughout the day if there’s noise in your sleeping area whether it’s a noisy neighbor or you live in the city or you have a spouse that snores earplugs or wireless headphones can be helpful if you put on wireless headphones you’re going to be want to be listening to something like the sounds of the ocean or not something that’s going to keep you up white noise is obviously best light your body perceives light even with your eyes shut you can tell whether there’s light in the room or not light in the room and your brain can tell that too so you want to make sure that you get as much light out of your sleeping area as possible you can do this with an eye mask if you can’t get it we darken in your room darkening blinds if you have to sleep during the day it’s also very helpful to use blue blockers on your television computer and mobile devices an hour to an hour and a half before bed it puts like a red hue over everything which can be a little annoying if you’re into colors and everything but it helps your body get more into that sleep state because it’s blocking the blue light that tells your brain it’s daytime if you’re one of those that gets up and goes to the bathroom during the night that will also disrupt your sleep even if you only get up once use a red light nightlight if you need to have some sort of illumination to get to the bathroom which most of us do it is a lot better at not destroying your night vision and not waking you up get most of your hydration before 6:00 p.m. we’re probably a lot of people probably have a glass of water by the bed you know sipping on it is one thing chugging 64 ounces an hour before bed pretty much guarantees you’re going to have to get up and go to the bathroom so try to space out your hydration during the day so you stay hydrated but you’re not having to get up and go to the bathroom multiple times nutrition it nutrition is important you want to have quality proteins that include tryptophan tryptophan is the protein that your body uses to make serotonin which is used to make melatonin so you need this you can get tryptophan from vegetarian proteins as well as animal proteins but it’s important to make sure you’re getting it although it is dangerous to supplement with supplemental like pill form tryptophan because that’s coming in a much stronger dose and unopposed which is not how it occurs in nature so I caution people against using supplements most of the time it’s better to get your amino acids and your nutrition that you need through actual real foods and make sure to get sufficient hydration I know I just said don’t over hydrates you’re peeing all but if you’re dehydrated you’re also going to wake up with a dry mouth and dry scratchy throat possibly you may wake up and feel thirsty so it’s all about moderation and some timing if you don’t have sufficient serotonin or melatonin you’re probably not going to get enough sleep stress reduces serotonin which reduces melatonin so we want to get rid of as much stress as possible we already covered that we also produce less melatonin as we age so if you are older and you think that your sleep quality has gone down talk with your physician they may or may not think that you need additional melatonin some people especially those with depression and anxiety symptoms may not have enough serotonin in their system now serotonin is generally associated with as an anti-anxiety sort of neurotransmitter but if you have symptoms of depression or anxiety and you’re not getting enough sleep you may want to talk to your doctor they may try putting you on a SSRI or a similar antidepressant medication to see if that helps you get more sleep and relieves your symptoms of depression I will note that antidepressants do not work for everybody they don’t work even for 50% of the people but they do work for a percentage so it’s worth noting your symptoms and talking with your doctor sleep apnea disrupts your sleep and you may not even realize it so if you are one who tends to snore yourself awake and I think we’ve all done it occasionally if you’re one who snores yourself awake a lot or if your spouse says that you snore so loud you’re peeling the paint off the walls worth talking to your doctor because sleep apnea will prevent you from getting quality sleep other things you can do to minimize the effects of sleep apnea don’t drink alcohol before bed talk with your doctor about a CPAP machine and potentially look at certain supplements with your doctor to see if they might be useful in helping reduce some of the apnoea symptoms lack of quality sleep impacts your energy which impacts your desire to nap and alter your sleep schedule if you don’t get enough sleep you’re going to feel kind of good which may make you want to take naps maybe lots of naps if you’re doing that then you may alter your circadian rhythms and then your body doesn’t know when it’s supposed to sleep which will make it harder to get quality sleep when you don’t get enough quality sleep you’re eating hormones get out of whack so it’s hard to tell when you’re hungry and when you’re not so a lot of people tend to graze more when they’re sleep-deprived your ability to tolerate stress goes down when you’re sleep-deprived that’s not brain surgery I think most of us tend to be a little bit more impatient when we’re exhausted and your pain tolerance also goes down as your sleep goes down serotonin is involved in pain tolerance so if your cortisol is up your serotonin serotonin is down your pain tolerance may also go down if you’re feeling more pain you’re not going to get as much sleep so it’s a vicious downward cycle recovery and overall happiness require that you get sufficient quality sleep for you and I say for you because maybe you need six hours where I need nine you know what level what amount you need in order to function optimally caffeine-fueled awakeness propels you into a state of burnout you can only use caffeine to keep the motor going for so long before it doesn’t work anymore and I can tell you from experience when I was in high school actually and early college I used so much caffeine and so many pre-workout supplements and so many stimulants that it got to the point where I would drink caffeine it would actually make me sleepy there was no get up and go left in that engine that is not healthy that’s not healthy at all so understanding that even though it feels like it gives you a boost in the long term you’re going to run out energy at some point if you just keep pushing and pushing and pushing so caffeine is not really the be-all end-all answer if you like this podcast you can subscribe on your favorite podcast app join our Facebook group at Doc’s nights comm slash Facebook or you can join our community at Doc’s nice calm thanks for tuning in to happiness isn’t brain surgery with Doc’s naipes our mission is to make practical tools for living the happiest life affordable and accessible to everyone we record the podcast during a Facebook live broadcast each week join us free at Doc’s 9.com slash Facebook or subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast player and remember Doc’s nights calm has even more resources Members Only videos handouts and 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