Would my depression / loneliness have an effect on my sleeping and my dreams? Watch

Dann_B
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So for a long time now I have felt very depressed and lonely and I saw somewhere that when some people feel lonely or depressed they go to sleep hugging a pillow to cast the illusion of someone else being there. At first I though this was kind of crazy but I went ahead and tried it and it was one of the best nights sleep I have had in a long time. I have been doing this every night now for months and recently I have been saying to myself "I have to stop doing this, it isn't healthy". So last night I didn't use a pillow and 3 times that night I had the same dream. You know the one, where your falling and you don't know why then you wake up and you feel like you actually were falling and you just landed in your bed. I post this because I was wondering, is there any chance this bad nights sleep is a result of me giving up using a pillow to try and suppress my depression / loneliness?

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(Original post by Dann_B)
So for a long time now I have felt very depressed and lonely and I saw somewhere that when some people feel lonely or depressed they go to sleep hugging a pillow to cast the illusion of someone else being there. At first I though this was kind of crazy but I went ahead and tried it and it was one of the best nights sleep I have had in a long time. I have been doing this every night now for months and recently I have been saying to myself "I have to stop doing this, it isn't healthy". So last night I didn't use a pillow and 3 times that night I had the same dream. You know the one, where your falling and you don't know why then you wake up and you feel like you actually were falling and you just landed in your bed. I post this because I was wondering, is there any chance this bad nights sleep is a result of me giving up using a pillow to try and suppress my depression / loneliness?

Hi there

Depression/loneliness and dreams: One theory is that your dreams are the result of your subconscious. So following that, if you are feeling low during the day then yeah, obviously this will manifest itself in some form or another in your dreams. Not sure of the exact interpretation of falling or if I would entirely trust the psychological theories as it's all a bit subjective, but to be honest the falling is quite clearly associated (in my mind anyway) with feelings of anxiety and uncertainty, which have probably been affecting your subconscious. If you get talking therapy which is free on the NHS this may help as you'd be addressing the events in your life, which in some form or another turn tend to come to light in our dreams.

Depression/loneliness and sleep: People with depression are unfortunately known to be poor sleepers which can involve restlessness in the night and waking up which you've experienced with the falling dream, not being able to get to sleep, getting up too early in the morning due to anxiety or just generally feeling very lethargic, drowsy, soporific, lacking energy and therefore sleeping too much during the day. Once again you can seek various treatments for your depression and tackling your depression head on will then have knock on effects to the sleeping issues - as the poor sleep is the result of the depression you would need to tackle the depression first. Cause and effect - attack the cause to prevent the effect. You can do this by seeking help from your doctor, once again counselling services are available to young people across the country on the NHS, and finally exercise - the most underused antidepressant. Releasing those endorphins really will help boost your mood, in turn making you getting a more satisfactory nights sleep. Also I find if you gym or just exercise intensively at say 9pm then you will drop into a nice heavy sleep more easily than if you had been doing something mentally stimulating and not physically tiring before bed like watching tv. Also it is not a myth that you need to eat properly, drink water and exercise daily in order to keep all your body chemicals in check. All the chemicals in your body are interlinked - brain and body, and if you don't eat properly at correct times, you will find your circadian rythm and chemical balance suffers. I would really suggest this book if you genuinely want to improve your lifestyle and sleep. It is actually worth the money or order it from a library.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Adrenaline-J.../dp/1569754373

Anyways good luck, really hope you can sort this out . X
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