Good sleep is vital for emotional health. But I have found that it is more than that. Sleep differences between depression and anxiety sufferers reveal a lot.
You can listen to the thirteenth Audio of the "What is Depression" series and read the associated blog posting also.
Listen/download to my audio: Depression and Anxiety can be understood by Sleep differences
Read my Depression Help Blog post: Depression and Anxieties can be understood by Sleep differences
1: How Depression takes hold
Audio 2: Waking Up Exhausted
Audio 3: Twisted Ankle Fairy Story
Audio 4: Dreaming and Depression
Audio 5: Water Hose Metaphor
Audio 6: From Dreaming to Depression
Audio 7: Finding Trauma
Audio 8: What is mental illness?
Audio 9: Clearing Trauma
Audio 10: Examples of Rewind
Audio 11: Lacking Self Confidence
Audio 12: Flood metaphor for Depression
Audio 13: Sleep differences – Depression & Anxiety
Regular readers of this blog will know of the critical role that sleeping plays in causing and maintaining depression. Depression sufferers will normally go to sleep quite quickly, being exhausted and ready for sleep and may indeed sleep uninterrupted through the night, but this sleep will not refresh them.
The contrast with anxiety sufferers is clear. The problem will not be the exhaustion in the morning – indeed those with anxiety can sometimes wake up reasonably refreshed. No, anxiety means that you cannot quickly get off to sleep. You head is racing with useless “what if” thoughts and projections and so on – all going round and round, like a hamster on a wheel. And so sleep will be delayed and often interrupted and intermittent and rarely restful.
Depending on their sleep experiences, I will have a clear pointer as to how I will help my clients. For depressions it is about reducing arousal and rumination, to improve sleep and for anxieties it is about dealing with the trauma (that will invariably be there) and then helping to change their relationship with the anxiety.