depression and sleep disorders

According to studies, depression and sleep disturbance go hand in hand. In one study, three quarters of all depressed patients have difficulties in initiating, or maintaining sleep or both. Sleep problem is the number one reason why a depressed person seeks medical help, and is a strong indicator of suicide risk. 

If sleep problems remain while other symptoms are treated and remitted, then there is a high chance that the patient will relapse. 

My experience is the same too. My depression and sleep problems shared the same underlying causes. There are blurred lines between depression, fatigue, and ADD. They were just labels that help us believe the experts have a solid understanding and control over our conditions. This is why often times it is so hard to get a proper diagnosis from the doctors. 

My depression/fatigue/ADHD has been under control and been consistently improving as my lifestyle improved. I certainly won't try any anti-depressant or Ritalin or Adderall. 

Here is a list of what you should check for potential causes of depression:

  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Omega-3 fatty acid deficiency
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Food allergies (such as gluten, dairy, caffeine, or nightshade)
  • Any gut issues (leaky gut, candida overgrowth, IBS, celiac)
  • Thyroid function
  • Hormonal balance (Insulin and cortisol)

Eliminiate depression

Regardless of the causes of depression, these lifestyle strategies will ensure better health and reversal of depression and sleep disorders: 

Eat whole foods

You receive the most nutrients from whole, fresh, and unprocessed foods. You need protein, fat, and carbohydrate for every meal. Make sure you eat on time, 3 times per day, or you would put stress on your body, especially your adrenal glandsBy avoiding junk and process foods, you avoid the toxic sugar, MSG, trans fat, food additive, and other artificial ingredients, which are inflammatory and addictive. 

Foods allergy is a major source of inflammation, and has been associated with fatigue, anxiety, and depression. By getting rid of food allergies, many people who suffer chronic fatigue or depression become well. 

You can heal from foods allergies by eliminating foods you may be allergic to, such as gluten, grain, milk, or eggs, for a while to see if it makes you feel better while taking probiotic, collagen, and other supplements for gut health. Sometimes it can take more than a year to fully heal. 

Cut out sugar

Sugar is positively correlated with depression, according to studies. Sugar is also one of the major causes of gut problems. I had tried to cut out sugar so many time but the craving was too strong. I had failed many times and sometimes I "accidentally" ate sugars because too many sugars were hidden in plain sight. 

To curb the stubborn craving, you need to replenish your gut flora by eating fermented foods, drinks, or probiotic. As I did that I felt a deep satisfaction in my gut that was hard to explain and I no longer craved sugar. 

Probiotic

People got healed from gut problems and foods allergies after they had been cutting out food allergens and sugar, and replenishing their gut with good bacteria. As they healed their guts, their depression or fatigue disappeared. 

Sleep better

I have come up with several ways to sleep better based on my own experience. I used to occasionally stay up for up to 36 hours at a time. Needless to say I was depressed and dysfunctional. By cutting out sugars and taking some supplements, I now sleep consistently and better. 

Exercise

Studies show that anti-depressant works because of mostly placebo effects. You don't want to take any sleep pill or anti-depressant pill because of their bad side effects, and their lack of effectiveness. Exercises in the morning can put you into better sleep at nights, reduce your stress, and mood. 

Supplements

I take several amino acids for better moods. They are 5 HTP, Gaba, L-Theanine, and Acetyl-L-Carnitine. They are helpful with my sleep, craving, energy, and ADHD. I also take vitamin supplements for fatigue. 

Release stress

Everything I mentioned above will be totally negated if you are under high stress. Stress can wreck your hormones, sleep, and gut health. Stress also delays healing and causes inflammation. If you are dealing with adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue, depression, or other health problems, let go of the guilt and take much needed break as often as you need and do what relaxes you and makes you happy. 

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