Do you prioritize good sleep? A recent study found a dramatic decrease in paranoia after just six weeks of sleep training through online cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). We’re used to thinking that anxiety and depression disrupt sleep – but it turns out that improved sleep will disrupt anxiety and depression.
Bottom line: a few easy steps will help you feel less stressed or down.
Make Good Sleep a Habit
A recent metanalysis lists 29 studies that show moderate exercise leading to better sleep, (2). A huge study found that people who exercised just an hour a week or more were 44% less likely to become depressed. (1) Study after study finds that exercise diminishes anxiety and depression and increases happiness.
Additionally, CBT sleep training emphasizes these additional strategies:
· Exercise will help you feel tired at the end of the day (and, yes, that’s a good thing).
· Don’t nap, build up “sleep pressure.”
· Reduce or eliminate caffeine, alcohol and nicotine in the evening.
· Make your bedroom quiet, dark and cool.
· Use your bed for sleep or sex – not for TV, iPhone games, or worrying.
(3) Harvey SB, Øverland S, Hatch SL, Wessely S, Mykletun A, Hotopf M. Exercise and the prevention of depression: results of the HUNT Cohort Study. Am J Psychiatry. 2018;175:28-36. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2017.16111223