How can my sleep-wake schedule help me avoid a depression relapse?

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John Preston, PsyD
Psychology
Getting seven to nine hours of sleep every night has been shown to protect against depression, as does maintaining your natural circadian rhythm; that is, your sleep-wake schedule. The best way to keep a balanced sleep schedule is to wake up at the same time every morning, even on weekends. It has also been shown that getting five to ten minutes of light as soon as you wake up can boost your mood. This form of light exposure doesn’t require intense light (as is needed to treat seasonal affective disorder); it can be achieved by turning on a lamp next to your bed with a 100-watt lightbulb. The key to aiding the stabilization of your circadian rhythm is that the light exposure occurs at the same time each day.
Depression 101: A Practical Guide to Treatments, Self-Help Strategies, and Preventing Relapse

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Depression 101: A Practical Guide to Treatments, Self-Help Strategies, and Preventing Relapse

When you have depression, it can feel like there's no way out. To begin changing the way you feel, you'll need an arsenal of proven techniques for lifting your mood and preventing relapse. The...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.