Depression & Early Waking

Good Morning :) I'm suffering from depression which has recently got a lot worse. The Sleepio programme has been a great help but recently as a consequence i'm waking an hour and a half before i need to – has anyone any advice on how to deal with this?

Many Thanks!

Medsy

Posted 6 Aug 2012 at 3:46 PM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Was really sorry to read on your reply to Medsy you had been down lately. sometimes thats when you need to post, to get the support, help, encouragement not just about sleeping. It does help not to feel on your own, always someone here, been there and got the t shirt. Lots of luck

  • Sleepio Member

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    Thanks for your kind thoughts Nancy..and lots of luck to you as well….

  • Sleepio Member

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    your really welcome Medsy, and Blackwood must agree with wise Nancy when your down you need support here is the place, remember this saying

    When you are down there is one way to go and that is up, so chin up
    take care I will write on both your profiles…..Andy

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 5

    Hi, I've had depression/insomnia since the mid 90s. I've been on dothiepin (a TCA) for years. I've tried varying doses. The standard is 75mg before bed, but I've gone up to 150mg or tried 1/2 a 75mg. I also take zopiclone 3.75mg 2-3 times a week. The sleep expert Chris Idzikowksi once said that dothiepin will give you poorer quality sleep. Perhaps I should see my GP again and see if there's a better alternative? I have tried weaning off the dothiepin but my depression came back with avengance.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hello patpalloon

    I tried Dothepin once and they are good anti-depressants, but like your sleep expert said not truly effective with insomnia

    I take Sertraline at the moment I was on a high dose at night however I now take
    half dose in the morn and half at night, of course I am no doctor, seems a good idea to see your doctor, I would add though I would never wean myself off anti depressants I would leave that to my GP

    Good luck and I hope you get the answers you need
    All the best Andy

  • Sleepio Member

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    Just wanted to say thanks for posting on this topic. I'm in the same boat – I wake up about 2 hours before my official wake-up time and was diagnosed with PPD a few months ago. I had no idea the two were related. I've been applying what I've learned in Sleepio and am still waiting to see if/when this issue gets resolved. I'm wondering if it will take longer because I get about 5-6 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night (enough to manage but maybe not enough to quickly build up my sleep drive), plus the anti-depressant I'm taking needs time to fully kick in.

    Also, it was a good reminder to practice relaxation techniques during the day, not just at night. Thanks!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Has anyone had any trouble sleeping while taking sertraline (Zoloft)? I was taking it alongside mirtrazapine (Remeron) but the mirtrazapine stopped working for helping me sleep so I tapered off of that. At the same time I increased my dosage of sertraline from 50 to 75mg, to help support my mood and as directed by my doctor. This was a few weeks into sleep restriction and I thought I was getting somewhere but now in the last week or so my sleep has tanked, worse than before I started doing Sleepio! It could just be that it has to get worse to get better OR it could be that the sertraline is the issue, or both. I have no problems falling asleep (never has been the issue) but then wake up and it seems now my first chunk of sleep in the night is getting shorter and shorter and I'm having more trouble falling back asleep.

    I'm am feeling really anxious about this, since it's been a month now of sleep restriction and I'm just more tired and trying to fend off the discouragement, but it's getting harder to do that.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 2

    wow, its sounds like your doing really well!! well done ;) keep up the good work

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I started the sleepio course about 5 weeks ago and have just hit 90% efficiency so am feeling rather pleased about that. I have suffered from depression on and off for years (not currently on medication), along with poor sleep which used to be just waking up very early but more recently has included waking up in the middle of the night. This is one of the reasons I started sleepio. I am more prone to depression in Jan/Feb, ie now, and decided to have a go at it at the same time as starting quite an intensive exercise routine to fix a bad back.

    I found the really difficult bit of the course to be the sleep restriction as I felt very tired during the day, avoiding more demanding bits of work. I really struggled to get out of bed at 4am, not really believing that I would get any more sleep that night. But I feel I've turned the corner now, and am looking forward to having more energy with spring arriving.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Yes that is the bit we all struggle with Phillip SR it seems counterproductive but in reality it is the part of the programme that really gets us back to normal sleeping regime again, also pessimistic or self blaming thoughts are common in depression and can trigger low moods, and low moods can lead to negative thinking which can in fact lead to insomnia, some in the medical profession think of it as the chicken or the egg, did depression cause insomnia or did insomnia cause depression.

    There is a good book called Mindfulness by Mark Williams it is described as a practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world. It is based on Mindfulness based cognitive therapy MBCT and is said to be as effective as drugs for treating depression, it comes with a CD of mindfulness relaxation meditations.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Phillip, that sounds really, really good. I know depression. There is good spirit and positivity in what you are saying and that is key to more improvement.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I have a history of depression and early waking -- I hadn't realised they were linked, so that's really interesting to learn (thanks!).

    I'm struggling with week 3 at the moment. I was just posting in the Session 3: General Discussion forum but I don't know if it's the right place. Anyway, sleep restriction shouldn't be super-tough for me since I was sleeping surprisingly well the first couple of weeks, so my window is 7.5 hours, but the quarter hour rule is killing me! I have a very active mind at the best of times, and once I wake in the night (which I tend to do at least once on most nights -- I'm also diabetic so dodgy bloody sugars can come into play) I find myself worrying about the quarter hour rule and thinking, what if I don't drop back off and have to get up? And then before I know it, I've woken up once at 4 or 5am and totally fail to go back to sleep.

    My sleep quality has dived since I started week 3 :(

    Does anyone have any tips?

    Thank you in advance.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi CJH, I don't know anything about the depression side of things but I am an early waker. I decided early on that the best tactic for me is to stay awake if I wake anytime from about 4.45 onwards. This forced my body to improve SE but meant keeping my window short for a long time. I was sleeping an average of about 5 hrs for months after graduating and was beginning to think it would never get any better…..but it did – very gradually, after about 9 months it began to extend and now my weekly average fluctuates between 6 and 6 and a half hours a night. This is plenty for me and SE is usually good. Hope that is some help.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Thank you for your words, nightjar -- that's helpful (and encouraging) to know!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 5

    I do too and understand ur feelings .. but makes me feel … I am not alone.. and I can work through sleepio with hope

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi CJH,

    sorry to hear that you're struggling. Concur with Nightjar about getting up at 4 or 5 if you wake up. That takes a lot of pressure off. I was lucky as my night time wakening were generally in the middle of the night, between 2-5, so would usually get back to sleep then.

    Re your anxiety about QHR – Sleepio will also give you some tools and tips to deal with the anxiety.

    If it's any help or encouragement, my sleep efficiency is now 93% having been on the programme since last November! Sleepio has really worked for me. I'm staying here for the time being as my sleep generally gets worse in winter, so I want to wait and see what happens.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 3

    I'm also struggling with the issue of depression and early-morning wakening. Just started Remeron (mirtazepine) a week ago. It's not particularly sedating for me, but perhaps when the antidepressant effect kicks in, that will in turn help sleep. Recently found a fascinating article about the relation between depression and insomnia. Not sure if I'm allowed to link it here. Basically, it says that early-morning wakening may be the body's way of trying to deal with depression -- by depriving the mind of REM sleep. Sleep deprivation, in the short term, can actually have an anti-depressant effect (like when you are “punch-drunk” after an all-nighter), but in the long term, sleeplessness can contribute to depression. It's a chicken and egg thing -- what comes first, the insomnia or the depression?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Mrs. DM, plesae could you post the link to the article you mention or the publication it is from? It sounds very interesting and relevant, as my main issue is very early waking
    (btw, it isn't against posting policy to include links for non-commercial purposes, I read in the Terms part of this site).

    I used to think that I'd had never struggled from depression until my insomnia hit over a year ago, but now I wonder if I wasn't already depressed and that this was a cause of my insomnia.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 3

    Hi Samjna. Here is the link to the journal article on Depression and Insomnia: http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200307/bedfellows-insomnia-and-depression
    I only saw your post because I checked back on this comment thread. Feel free to post on my profile to get my attention sooner!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I am struggling with sleep restriction and have decided to stop doing this as it has plummeted me into depression. My friends and family have also told me to stop the sleepio program as they have witnessed a huge difference in my behaviour. I can only manage around 3 nights on restricted sleep then I become so low that I barely function. My ability to make any decisions becomes very impaired and creates anxiety.

    I really don't want to go on medication as this really frightens me. I wake up between 5-5:30 am regularly even when on restricted sleep.

    I am using self-soothing techniques now when I wake up and this is helping me. I'm hoping that my sleep-bed-self soothing relationship may help me to settle into a better sleeping habit.

    Any help or advice would be very welcome.

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