Fearing Night Depression

Sometimes people who experience depression feel more depressed at night; so much so, they fear nights and dread the night coming.

But why? Think about it.

At night we are normally alone, tired, and engaging in less activity. There are not as many distractions, so it easy for the mind to ruminate. Rumination is when you focus your attention on the symptoms of distress, and on its possible causes and consequences, as opposed to its solutions.

This is probably when you think about all the things are not going right in your life, the things you wish you could of have and should have done, and how your future doesn’t look so good based on these things.

So now that you know that you feel sad every night, you can begin to prepare for it.

Implement some self-talk.

For instance, if you start to feel depression deepening, this is when you tell yourself “no ma’am/sir not tonight, we know where this is going and it’s not fun” or “this is a sign that I need to focus on something else before this gets worse”. Redirect yourself to focus on something else because you do not want to snowball the negative thoughts into a deeper depression.

Find an activity to do before sleep.

Read a book, draw, listening to an uplifting youtube video, write, paint, meditate, pray, or do whatever you think that can be helpful in helping you to relax and not to focus on negative thoughts before bed.

Come up with a night routine.

Teach your body how to wind down properly. Some enjoy taking a shower, then drinking a hot drink before bed. Some people enjoy doing some light cleaning and taking out their clothes for the next day. Some people love to write down things they plan to do the following day or even journal to get out those last minutes thoughts. Create a routine that serves your needs.

Text or call someone.

Yeah, I know it’s time for sleep, but sometimes if you know someone that might be up around that time, reach out. It might be helpful to distract yourself by talking to someone before bed, but only if it’s a positive interaction.

Don’t go to bed until you are ready to sleep.

Try not to lay down until you are ready to fall to sleep. Spending hours idle in bed can leave room for rumination and you are trying to avoid focusing on negative thinking. If you just want to lay down so you can relax first, try to listen to something soothing and positive to help you stay in that mood.

Prepare for your night throughout the day as well.

Try to be as active as you can during the day. Make an effort to accomplish some small task and take small steps to reach your goal. By the time you lay down to sleep, you will be too tired to think about all the negative things that tend to come up at night.

You have to give your mind something to do. The only way to reduce negative thoughts is to keep the mind busy and focus on other things. If you don’t give your mind something to do, it will create its own problems to tackle and that will more than likely be the things you are most afraid of and cause you the most grief.

This is not something you learn overnight. It is trial and error in finding out what really works for you, but once you find it you will be glad you did not give up.

Take it one step at a time and be proud of every step you take.

What has helped you to overcome depression at night? Help others and Comment Below!

Published by Asha Griffin, MA, LPC, NCC, BC-TMH

I am Asha Griffin, a licensed professional counselor in South Carolina. I am dedicated to improving the mental health of others and helping them to "tend to their gardens". My goal is to inspire people in finding better balance in their lives.

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