Studies indicate that more than 90% of people with depression feel fatigued. Trying to relieve it, they may do light exercises, and use stress-management techniques, but the most usual choice is having a nap.
Depression naps usually serve as a coping mechanism for people with depression or a symptom of depression. However, if not managed well, they can exacerbate other symptoms.
Read on to discover how depression naps can affect the course of depression and what are the strategies to manage them.
Depression has various symptoms, and only healthcare professional can make a diagnosis and offer suitable treatment.
How Do Depression Naps Differ From General Naps?
Napping and depression are closely intertwined. People with depression may experience daytime drowsiness and periods of excessive sleeping. They may take naps when they feel low to improve their mood, while normal naps are a response to the need for general rest.
If you are used to having depression naps, you can experience difficulty trying to wake up in the morning or staying energized during the day. Unlike regular afternoon naps that help you feel refreshed, depression naps leave you feeling more lethargic and unmotivated.
The desire to nap in depressed people is usually fueled by exhaustion, which, in turn, is a result of physiological symptoms (for example, significant changes in sleeping or eating habits) or psychological causes (apathy, hopelessness, overwhelming recurrent thoughts, etc.).
Main Effects of Depression Naps
Overall, depression and sleep often go hand in hand. While depression can make you want to take a nap more often, experiencing sleep deprivation can also increase feelings of depression. Here are some more specific consequences explained:
- Taking depression naps can disrupt the normal sleep-wake cycle, leading to difficulty falling asleep at night, which can exacerbate both depression and insomnia symptoms.
- Depression naps can interfere with daily activities like work, school, or socializing. People can withdraw from their social circles and become isolated if they don’t handle these naps well and don’t get proper treatment.
- Studies have also shown that excessive daytime sleepiness can increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, or cardiovascular disease. Sleep disturbances could also impair immune function, increasing susceptibility to infections and illnesses. Depression naps may be interpreted as the cause of such excessive sleepiness as well.
- Depression naps may also increase feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and fatigue as you don’t get good rest. These may result in reduced motivation and drive, low energy levels, and constant tiredness.
You should get concerned if you feel like you can’t control your sleepiness. If you start sleeping too much, depression might not be far off, so be attentive to other symptoms of the disorder. Also, experiencing challenges in performing your routine tasks should serve as a red flag.
Depression may significantly impair your normal life. Seek support at the EZCare Clinic to know how to overcome the condition.
7 Tips to Manage Depression Naps
When these additional naps become unwelcome and you want to avoid the development of fatigue and insomnia, the best option is to get assessed for depression and receive proper treatment. Also, you can try these simple methods to boost the effectiveness of your treatment.
1. Keep a consistent sleep-wake schedule
Ensure you go to bed and wake up at the same time daily, including on weekends. Such a schedule helps regulate your body’s internal clock and promotes restful sleep. So, finally, getting an adequate seven to eight hours of sleep every night can help you deal with daytime sleepiness.
2. Improve your sleep hygiene
Proper sleep hygiene can improve sleep quality and minimize the probability of daytime sleepiness. Consider adopting healthy sleep habits, such as avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and heavy meals before bedtime, maintaining a regular sleep-wake schedule, keeping your bedroom dark and quiet, and avoiding screen time for at least an hour before bed.
3. Practice relaxation techniques
You can reduce anxiety by practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, and meditation. An established pre-bed relaxation routine with these or other techniques can ease the process of falling asleep and promote restful sleep.
4. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise helps to improve sleep quality while reducing anxiety and depression symptoms. Over time, exercise also boosts your energy levels. Aim to engage in moderate-intensity exercises, like cycling, swimming, or walking, for at least 30 minutes daily during the daytime.
5. Join a support network
Talking and interacting with people facing the same challenges can help you find pertinent solutions. Local and online support groups can help you learn new coping strategies as you share your experiences.
6. Increase your activity level
Keep yourself busy all day long to have less time for napping. More activity during the day will also help you limit how often you nap. If you feel like a nap is the only solution, keep it short, between 5-30 minutes long, to recharge and reframe thinking. A short nap won’t keep you up at night so it might be a healthy and refreshing option.
7. Seek professional help
A mental health professional, like a psychiatrist or a therapist, can diagnose and treat depression and other symptoms, the underlying cause of depression naps. They can create a treatment plan involving medications, therapies or both to regulate and manage depression and the sleep-wake cycle. Ensure you seek professional help if you:
- Feel tired regularly without any reason.
- Sleep more than you normally do.
- Start experiencing diminished sleeping quality at night.
- Feel unsafe during activities requiring increased attention like driving.
Depression napping can steal your joy while doing little to ease your fatigue. Help is available for anyone grappling with depression and fatigue. Speak to a mental health professional at EZCare Clinic to support you in getting a suitable treatment regimen. Don’t let depression naps keep you less productive and steal away hours from your day.