a woman sinking into a mattress

Depression, Illness, and Oversleeping

Lately, I’ve sort of been having multiple issues with sleep – many that deal with depression. While I still deal with severe insomnia, I have been dealing with a boatload of depression and anxiety. Neither depression nor anxiety is new to me, much like insomnia.

But lately, even my therapist has noticed I’ve really had some awful days. Aside from tackling a really hard form of therapy that brings you back to the middle of a traumatic event and sort of reliving it in different ways.

I need more sleep lately

On top of being severely depressed, I’ve also got a lot of health concerns going on, which is normal for me. But at this point, I’ve been in this “sick” rut for over 2 months now, and am now experiencing new symptoms.

In short, my body is over-exhausted, out of energy, and overall feeling down for the count. I need a lot more sleep to recover from my chronic illnesses, which sometimes doesn’t necessarily happen.

Dealing with guilt

But lately, it has. I let myself fall asleep when I am tired, trying to stay close to my self-enforced bedtime, and allowing myself to sleep in as long as I need to.

I think that’s something that a lot of insomniacs deal with – guilt. To make up for the sleep we get, I think most people assume we can get through the day as if their insomnia is the same as our insomnia, in which most cases, are NOT the same.

But guilt should be the furthest thing we should feel when our bodies need healing and sleep in order to function the next day and the day after that.

Feeling judged for needing more sleep

I get that patients struggling with depression may oversleep, sleep during the day, and certainly face judgment from others about our internal clocks and the need to heal on our own time.

I know when I’m up sick at 3 AM due to my Crohn’s disease, there should be no reason I’m judged or should be led to feel guilty for needing an extra hour or 2 of sleep before I head to work. So much of what I just mentioned was so incredibly hard when I worked full-time.

Letting my body tell me what I need

I say when I worked full-time because there became a time a few years ago when my body just broke down from struggling so much from insomnia, depression, and chronic illness. My sleep cycle was so broken that I could never catch up to the sleep that I needed to recover from being so ill the nights and days previous.

I’ve learned since I now work from home, with the help of my therapist, that I need to let my body tell me what I need. If that means sleeping one day of the week really late, that means that I really needed it from the unrest and illness I dealt with that week or even the week before.

Resting without judgement

Too often we judge ourselves because we feel like others will judge us for the sleep patterns we have. So this month, one of my goals is to stop listening to my inner monologue and listen to my body instead and give it the rest it needs, when it needs it – morning, noon, or night.

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