Sleeping Through Insomnia and Depression
Posted On October 30, 2017
By Shae, On Shades Of Shamrock Blog
Hi everybody! Today I wanted to talk about insomnia and depression. Both of these issues have such a strong impact on everyday life. One thing that I've noticed with my depression is that sometimes it is so incredibly hard to sleep. I've been told quite a few times that depression makes people want to sleep MORE, so I have always been so confused about why I can't sleep when I want and need to.
As a result of not being able to sleep very well (or at all), my depression seems to take hold of me even more than it used to. I've been so surprised to find that it's not just me that has this problem. So many people are out there suffering from the same issue. So how in the world do I not just curl in a corner and give up entirely? Well, thanks to the fact that I am always trying to write about my mental health and how to improve different issues I have, I have come across some things that actually help me sleep again.
Yes, I've already written a post about different things people can do when their anxiety keeps them awake (see the post here), but it seems like my insomnia caused by depression is an entirely different animal. When I can't sleep because of my anxiety, all the things that I am worried about get me wound up in a pretty tight knot and I can't sleep. When I can't sleep because of my depression, I lay in bed feeling utterly hopeless. It's like my inner demons are beating up on me and no matter how hard I try, they won’t let me slip into peaceful sleep.
How in the world do I manage to fall asleep then? Well, for a long time I had been using a fan to help me sleep because the white noise was comforting and something I could focus on until I finally slept. I had tried sleeping with music but earphones are absolutely uncomfortable. There was also that incident where I dreamt that I had been kidnapped and tied up, only to find when I woke up that my earphones had tangled themselves around me at some point in the night... After that I pretty much gave up on listening to music while I sleep. That is until I discovered my new favorite thing in the whole world.
A few weeks ago I discovered this amazing company that makes headphones specifically for sleeping. I was skeptical at first because I have that whole issue where I toss and turn in the night, but I was willing to give them a try. I decided to check out their site before I made my final decision to give them a try and they looked really cool. The company is called AcousticSheep (which is adorable. They even had a picture on their site of a whole bunch of super cute stuffed sheep (which I secretly totally wanted).
I couldn't believe that I'd never heard of them before. I was absolutely 100% on board (probably after seeing the stuffed animal sheep). When my SleepPhones came in the mail I have to admit I was pretty excited! Of course the first thing I had to do when I got them was mess around with them and try them out. They were absolutely the most comfortable headphones I had ever tried! No surprise though because the company's slogan is "Pajamas for your ears" (totally genius).
The first night
I downloaded a nature sounds app on my phone, connected my SleepPhones to my phone and drifted off to sleep listening to a thunderstorm track. When I woke up in the morning, I couldn't believe how good I felt. I had even woken up a half hour before my alarm was supposed to go off and I felt wide awake. One crazy thing I realized after I got out of bed was I was sleeping so well that I didn't even need to get up to go to the bathroom once (which is unheard of for me). My usual mornings consist of me waking up groggily, going through the internal struggle of whether to sleep in and sacrifice breakfast or get up right then and be like the undead until around noon. I had an amazing day too. It is crazy how much better my day can be with a good night's sleep.
The second night
I got home from work and I went to sleep because I wasn't feeling well at all. Naturally, I had my SleepPhones on while I slept. I woke up around midnight with the worst sore throat I could ever remember having. I took some nighttime severe cold and flu medicine and went back to sleep. When I woke up in the morning my throat seemed a million times worse, but I felt like I was okay on sleep thanks to my SleepPhones.
The third night
I was even more sick than I had been the night before. I had really started to feel the fatigue and the general yuckiness earlier that day and I had napped on and off. If I didn't have my SleepPhones I don't think I would have been able to sleep. Things would have been even more miserable. I took more nighttime cold medicine and all but passed out the minute I got in bed and put my SleepPhones on.
The fourth night
Most of my day was spent napping on and off. All I wanted to do was be curled up in bed listening to music or audiobooks. To say that I was loving my new SleepPhones would be a massive understatement. I felt like they were the reason I was still sane. I felt bad for my husband though, because he was going through the same thing I was but he was just using regular earphones because he didn't have a pair of SleepPhones yet. He was even more miserable than I was because he had to deal with uncomfortability along with the horribleness of being sick.
It is unfortunate that while trying out my awesome new SleepPhones I got sick, but I suppose if they helped me through that, they could more than help me through anything else. Having insomnia because of depression is bad, but when being sick gets thrown into the mix it turns into an absolute disaster.
I am so grateful that the SleepPhones helped me through. They were such a comfort. Nothing helps make me feel better like music. Now the next thing on my to-do list is getting my poor husband a pair!
If you would like to read more about Shae's Story, Click Here for a link to her blog!