Harvard University

Waking Too Early – Six Natural Solutions

The statistics indicate that if you wake early in the morning and can not get back to sleep, your problem is most likely to be depression (including grief). In fact about 80% of the people who wake too early have this problem.

Some people believe that depression is the chief cause of chronic insomnia. Others believe that insomnia can result in depression. Either way, depression is an issue that has to be addressed.

So here are our top six solutions for depression.

1. Better Sleep with Daily Exercise

Do not have the time? This is no excuse and you could be doing yourself a serious disfavour by not exercising. Studies have found that exercise is very beneficial for helping to relieve depression and lift your mood (as well as many other positive benefits). How much exercise? We recommend doing at least an hour of walking four times a week. We choose walking because you are more likely to do it if it's not punishing, exhausting and requires large fees into expensive gyms.

It's a recommendation backed by many sleep, stress and depression experts. Sleep specialist Dr David Jankelson recommends having a regular waking time, and early morning exercise (Health and Science, Sydney Morning Herald, May 15, 2003).

2. Supplementation to Combat Depression

Research done by Dr Andrew Stoll at Harvard University links significant benefits from taking Omega 3 as a supplement for depression. But not just any old Omega 3 – it has to be high ratio EPA / DHA Omega 3. The Omega 3 Dr Stoll used was in the ration of 7: 1 (which is not available in Australia).

Dr Andrew Stoll did double-blind studies on a number of bipolar patients to determine the effect of omega 3 oils as a mood stabilizer and found that there was a definite improvement, even in patients who had not reacted to other treatments previously. Omega 3 can help to combat depression and stabilize the mood and by so doing help you to get better sleep. You can read more about Dr Andrew Stoll's work in his book The Omega 3 Connection.

Normal omega 3 supplements have 1.5 times more EPA than DHA – even in the 'high potency' versions. Read the label carefully to calculate the EPA: DHA ratio. In Australia the highest percentage / ratio is 3: 1 and the brand name is "eye q" brand. But internationally we have seen ratios of 5: 1 and even higher.

Other supplements to investigate include St. John's wort, 5-HTP, vitamin C, magnesium (anxious women), B6 ​​and B12, ginkgo biloba, valerian, inositol, natural salt and SAM-e.

3. A Hard Look at Life

So what are you actually depressed about? This is the beginning and the end of the problem, actually. Is it your boring job, your unrewarding friends, your lack of success, your toxic and negative environment, your primary relationship, your health, your inability to get it together?

All these things are fixable (or can be significantly improved) with the right help, resources and attitude – but first you have to be honest with yourself as to what the actual problem is. And this might just mean admitting the problem to yourself, if no-one else.

The world is made up of exceptional people, many of whom had major setbacks and struggles in their life. Some people needed the struggle in order to be exceptional. What attitude do you want to approach life with? What actions could you take and WILL you take to improve your life, your attitude and the way other people perceive you? Do you need a mentor or coach to move you forward? Your struggle might be leading you in a new and exciting direction. One day you may look back and be thankful for the wake up call this situation gave you.

4. Nutrition

Having a healthy diet will eliminate the highs and lows brought about by extreme eating, and processed foods.

That some aware Be food additives are On associated with depression . Research the information compiled by Sue Dengate of the Food Intolerance Network to help you decide which additives and colourings should be removed from your diet. Read the labels of processed, canned and pre-cooked foods, and be aware of the food additives that are even on green vegetables and fruit that are not good for you. As a starting point additives 320 BHA buylated hydroxyanisole antioxidant, 282 calcium propionate preservative, 621 monosodium glutamate and 951 aspartame all effect mood, and are related to some aspect of insomnia.

5. Drugs – Prescribed and Otherwise

Read the labels on all your medications and investigate if any of them are effecting your mood. Certain prescription medications, such as some cholesterol reducing tablets, have the side effect of depression and mood alteration, anxiety, etc. Fully investigate any recreational drugs you are taking, for their short term and long-term effects.

6. Take Action to Change Your Life

This solution is obvious, but not always implemented. We've all heard the definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result". It takes courage to be the best person you can be, but it's time to get a different result!

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