Can getting up early help with depression? 10 steps to treating depression naturally

This Morning: Dr Chris reveals symptoms of his depression

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Changes in your sleeping pattern, such as disturbed sleep or spending too much time in bed, can be signs of clinical depression. Clinical depression is different from depression caused by loss or a medical condition, it persists even when nothing is particularly wrong in your life. If you suffer from depression or depressive symptoms, it can be very difficult to seek help.

Low mood and energy can stop people from getting the help they need, but the NHS advises everyone to see a GP if they experience symptoms of depression for most of the day, every day for more than two weeks.

Everyone feels low sometimes but you need to get support and treatment if your depression is constant and affecting your life.

Antidepressants are an option, but lifestyle changes are also worth a shot, apparently.

According to Jason Ward, a psychotherapist at DBT London, getting up earlier may help your chances of improving your symptoms or getting better. Here’s why.

Can getting up early help with depression?

Being more tired than usual or being unable to sleep are just two symptoms of a low mood associated with depression.

Psychotherapist Jason Ward said developing a habit of rising late and sleeping in can affect our well-being and lead to depression.

The expert said: “Research shows that there is a definite causal link between late sleeping and depression.

“Early risers have a 27 percent less chance of experiencing depression than late risers.”

Our internal body clock is not only influenced by our genetic make-up, it is also affected by environmental factors.

This means your diet, exercise, work and artificial light all play a role in how you sleep and therefore depression.

While this sounds like a lot of work, this is great news because it means some people can potentially treat their symptoms naturally.

Jason said: “We can rebalance the odds in our favour by simply getting up an hour earlier.”

This attention to our sleep hygiene can be supported by following these simple steps:

  • Set your alarm one hour earlier.
  • Avoid coffee after lunchtime, caffeine has a 12 hour half-life.
  • Shut down your screens an hour before bedtime.
  • Put your phone into do not disturb mode.
  • Place your alarm on the opposite side of the room.
  • Sleep with your curtains open.
  • Get out of the bedroom as soon as you turn off the alarm
  • Get up earlier 15 mins each week if 1 hour is too much in one go.
  • Stick to the plan, sleep loves routine.
  • Avoid too much alcohol or food before bedtime.

Depression is a real illness with real symptoms, physical and mental, and although it can be triggered by stressful or traumatic events, it can simply develop for no reason.

The NHS website states that if someone in your family has had depression in the past, it’s more likely that you’ll also develop it.

Some women are more prone to experiencing depression after pregnancy.

Loneliness, alcohol, drugs and life-threatening or longstanding illnesses also increase your risk of depression.

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