When I was in the midst of my deepest depression, it was not uncommon for me to be sleeping for 18 hours a day. Part of the tiredness was a side effect of the medication, and part of it was the simple fact that depression is just exhausting. The other major factor was that I was using sleep as a way to escape my depression, as I didn’t have to deal with my depression symptoms when I was asleep. To me, it was the perfect avoidance. I found myself taking three 2 hour naps per day as well as sleeping for 12 hours at night.
Due to sleeping so much, I found that I wasn’t looking after myself in any other way. In fact, a lot of the things I was neglecting were only making my depression symptoms worse and leading me to sleep even more. I wasn’t eating regularly or healthy, I definitely wasn’t exercising and most days I wasn’t even showering.
It wasn’t easy to break this unhealthy cycle, but once I finally did it forced me to deal with the other depression symptoms that I had been suffering from.
How I Stopped Oversleeping
With the helpful advice of my doctor, the first thing I tackled were the 3 naps per day that I was taking. It was really hard at first, as I had become so used to sleeping. It felt to me like I only had to survive an hour of being awake, and then I could go back to sleep for another 2 hours. I was worried about how I would cope if I deprived myself of my oversleeping.
I started out by reducing my 3 naps per day to 1 nap per day. I was still sleeping 12 hours per night, but it was going to take baby steps to reduce how much I was sleeping. Cutting back to 1 nap meant that I would have a morning shift to get through, then I would take my nap, then I would have the afternoon shift to get through. Surprisingly, I didn’t find it too difficult to cut out 2 of my naps. I used the morning shift to get back into a routine of showering and basic personal hygiene and eating, then the afternoon shift would be time that I would spend with my family or attending doctors appointments.
It was when it came time to cut back from 1 nap to no napping during the day that I had the most difficulty. It meant that I didn’t really have a break at any time during the day and would have to deal with my depression rather than avoid it. So I replaced that 1 nap in the middle of the day with something much more healthy – a daily walk.
At first, it was extremely difficult to find the motivation to go for a walk. But I knew I wasn’t going to get anywhere without pushing myself, so I forced myself to get out there.
After forcing myself for the first couple of weeks, I found it much easier to do and I would even look forward to my daily walk. My walk became my new version of escape and I no longer felt the tiredness when I was walking. In some ways it felt like I was trying to walk away from my depression so I would push myself to walk further and longer. It almost became an obsession. But at least it was a healthy obsession and it was doing much more for me than what napping ever was.
I could feel good about myself after going for a walk, knowing that I was doing something positive for my depression and for my health in general. I also found that I had more energy and was in a better mental place to deal with the rest of the day, despite my severe depression.
I’ve written a post on 7 benefits of exercise for mental health which you can check out by clicking the link. There is a lot of benefit to a daily walk, or other forms of exercise, and that post explains it all.
The Next Phase
So now I had cut out all of my daily naps and was exercising regularly. I was even eating a little better. Things were starting to look a lot better than they were when I was sleeping for 18 hours a day. The next thing I had to focus on was reducing the amount of sleep I was getting each night from 12 hours down to something closer to 8 hours.
My doctor gave me some great advice regarding limiting my sleep at night. She told me not to worry at all about the time I went to bed, only to focus on what time I was getting up each day. So I set my alarm to go off at 7am each morning.
The first morning was the most difficult one, as I was getting a lot less sleep than I was previously used to. Because of this, I was very tired by the end of the day and had no trouble getting to sleep early. It only took a few days for my body to adjust to the new schedule, and it is a schedule that I have kept up to this day.
It had been hard work and it took a while to reduce my sleep from 18 hours a day down to around 8 hours, and the last thing I wanted to do was go back to old habits. That in itself was a motivating factor for maintaining my sleep habits from then on until now.
How I Beat Depression
When I look back on it, going from sleeping 18 hours a day and not looking after myself compared to where I am now is just amazing. It’s something that for a long time I never thought would happen. Here is how I did it.
Once I cut out my naps I had a bit of extra time during the day. Sometimes I would use this time to research different ways of dealing with depression that didn’t involve medication. The meds tended to only give me side effects without actually helping my mood (or in some cases made my mood worse because I was dealing with depression and the side effects of the medication) and I wanted to find a solution that wouldn’t cost me so much money or cause side effects.
This was when I found a course called Destroy Depression. It claimed to do exactly what I wanted, which was to overcome my depression without meds. I admit I was a little sceptical at first, but they offered a 60 day money back guarantee so I took the plunge and bought the course. It was pretty cheap, even more so when compared to the ongoing cost of medication.
I took my time to go through the course as there was a lot of information in there. It taught me many different strategies including cognitive behavior therapy, or CBT. It had a large section on CBT which I found extremely useful and it helped me to attack my negative thinking and teach me how to process any negative thoughts I was having. And there were a lot of negative thoughts going on inside my little head at that time.
It wasn’t long before the course had reduced my depression symptoms and had me feeling like I was finally starting to get on top of my depression. All it took was a bit of practice at applying the techniques, but that wasn’t too difficult to do at all. I would even go back and read the course again every few weeks just so I could keep all of the information fresh in my mind.
There is a reason why I only recommend 2 products on my website, and that is because I only recommend something if I have used it and it has actually worked for me. Destroy Depression definitely worked wonders for me, so I can comfortably recommend it to anyone who is battling depression. You can learn more through the link below.
Please note – the product links on this page are affiliate links, meaning I receive a commission if you make a purchase through that link. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and helps me to keep the website running.