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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Can Poor Sleep Lead to Pessimism?

Having trouble sleeping? You may have a more difficult time seeing the positive side of things, according to a new study published in the journal Depression and Anxiety. And the link is especially strong if you suffer from anxiety disorder or a major depressive disorder, say researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. 

This is because poor sleep affects a specific region of the brain, called the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, which plays a role in regulating negative emotional responses. Study participants, who had anxiety or depression (or both) as well as severe sleep troubles, were shown disturbing images of violence — from war or accidents — and were asked to not control their reaction or to "reappraise" what they saw in a more positive light. 

An example of reappraisal: Imagining a woman with a badly bruised face as an actress in makeup rather than a survivor of violence, explained researchers.  

"Reappraisal is something that requires significant mental energy," said Heide Klumpp, assistant professor of psychiatry at UIC, in a statement. "In people with depression or anxiety, reappraisal can be even more difficult, because these disorders are characterized by chronic negativity or negative rumination, which makes seeing the good in things difficult."

Sleep Troubles: 5 Steps for Better Sleep
Shortchanging yourself on sleep can harm your recovery efforts and lead to some serious health consequences. Try these tips to set yourself up for sound slumber:
  1. Avoid caffeine after 3 p.m.
  2. Create a sleep schedule, and don’t stray on weekends.
  3. Make your bedroom a smartphone-free zone. 
  4. Don’t study or work on your computer in bed.
  5. Exercise earlier in the day, never just before shut-eye.
Depression and Anxiety Treatment at Red Oak Recovery®
Whether drug and alcohol abuse led to your depression or anxiety or you began self-medicating to escape the pain of a mood disorder, chances of successful long-term recovery are greatest when co-occurring conditions are treated together. To learn more about our individualized and integrative depression treatment and anxiety treatmentcall: 866-831-9107.

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