NYC is widely known as “the city that never sleeps,” and unfortunately, this is all too true for many residents of the city. Those living in urban environments like NYC often live hectic, fast-paced lifestyles that contribute to sleep disorders, and through this, depression.
Why Sleep Is Crucial to Mental Health
Robert D McMullen MD continues his series of psychiatry videos with this powerful explanation of sleep disorders. He covers many topics that NYC residents will relate to.
In this YouTube clip, McMullen uses his expertise to explain how the body and brain need healthy amounts of sleep to function optimally, but this is an uphill battle that requires a strong strategy.
Sleep problems are intimately connected with psychological disorders; together they form a vicious cycle, with depression feeding insomnia and vice-versa. In this video, we’re proud to present information for NYC residents who currently suffer from insomnia and other sleep disorders.
The Rocky Road to Relapse: Exploring Residual Symptoms
Sleep disorders can persist even after depression has been in remission for a substantial length of time. On a long enough timeline, these sleep disorders can actually bring about a relapse back into depressive symptoms and negative ideation.
This is the case because depression often has residual symptoms, which can outlast the actual low periods, mood swings, and negativity. A few of these residual symptoms include:
- Low self-esteem and negative self-perception
- Sub-optimal energy levels
- Lack of enjoyment and motivation
- Insomnia and other sleep disorders
Some of these residual symptoms can result from medications themselves, including atypical antidepressants and Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors.
Sleep Disorders and Atypical Depression
Insomnia and other sleep disorders are characteristic of the varieties of atypical depressions that Dr. McMullen explains throughout his video series. Many people aren’t familiar with this term, though, so he spends time breaking it down in layman’s terms for everyone to understand.
According to McMullen, more than one-third of depression cases are considered “atypical,” meaning that they are more prone to the following symptoms:
- Overeating, craving excessive amounts of carbohydrates
- Over-reaction to issues in personal life, relationships, etc.
For these individuals, treatment via medication can be elusive and short-lasting; typically, we’ve found that atypical depressives need atypical, augmented treatment strategies.
Behavioral Changes That Can Help Fight Insomnia
While there are many pharmaceutical options for those suffering from various sleep disorders, there are also behavioral changes that can make an enormous difference. A few of these include:
- Waking up earlier, even to the point of “over-correcting” your sleep cycle
- Wearing blue-blocking glasses to “trick” one’s brain into resetting its circadian rhythms. This is a common treatment for people with pronounced manic states.
- Taking low-dose melatonin supplements (chewing a small amount and letting the pill/lozenge dissolve into your mouth is better than swallowing large doses)
- Vigorous, frequent exercise
- Amino acids like L-tryptophan
Some of these behavioral changes can be utilized in an “on-and-off” fashion, while others should be maintained consistently. Contact a psychiatrist to find out how you can use simple life changes to improve your sleep cycle and mood.
Common Sleep Disorders and Their Treatments
The sleep-phase delay is one of the most common disorders; it’s widely seen in people who work overnight shifts, or otherwise, lack the necessary amounts of sunlight.
Workaholics often ironically develop this schedule; it actually decreases produtivity and effectiveness long-term. This is often the case with high-school and college students who shift their schedule later and later, then wake up early for classes.
Our modern world, with its expectations and labor shifts, goes against our bodies’ evolution in a profound way. It’s not easy to adjust your life around a more natural schedule, but it’s well-worth it: over time, sleep disorders can even lead to a decreased life-expectancy
There are other notable sleep disorders we cover in this video, including:
- Primary insomnia
- Abnormal sleep patterns
- Sleep apnea
- Restless Leg Syndrome
Medication for Sleep Disorders
For primary insomnia and other other treatment-resistant sleep disorders, medication might be necessary to get the body’s much-needed hour (or more) of deep, level four sleep. Fortunately, many of the sleeping medications on the market in 2018 are far less severe and disorienting than ones previously available.
To close out the video, Robert D McMullen, MD looks at some of the common pharmaceutical treatments for insomnia and sleep disorders. Here, you’ll find analyses of the following medications and more:
These medications naturally have side effects, but many are effective at lower doses than which they’re prescribed.
Finding Sleep Disorder and Insomnia Help in NYC
We know that there are many in New York City suffering from sleep disorders of all kinds. Robert D McMullen is here to extend a helping hand to those New Yorkers by offering actionable, proven-successful strategies to deal with even the most resistant cases of insomnia.
With a background not only in psychiatry, but psychopharmacology, and more recently magnetic stimulation, he’ll help you with any disorder with tried-and-true methods to conquer obstacles like insomnia for good.
If you need help, reach out today at 212 362-9635.