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Skip to 0 minutes and 13 seconds The impacts that the depression had on my sleep was I’d always been, prior to it, I’d always been a really easy sleeper. I’d go to sleep straightaway once my head hit the pillow. But the effect of the depression itself made it a lot harder for me to fall asleep initially. So I’d stay awake for at least two hours waiting until the early hours of the morning, where I still hadn’t gone to sleep. And during that time, I was trying to force myself to go to sleep and actually fall asleep for the first time, of going to bed. So it made it a lot harder for me to actually drift off into sleep.

Skip to 0 minutes and 55 seconds And in that time, I was worrying and thinking about things that happened during the day that I was dwelling on and over-thinking in my head, which made it even more harder to go to sleep. My sleep was massively affected when I was feeling depressed. I’d wake up just randomly around 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning. And I wouldn’t be able to get to sleep for hours, maybe gone 5 o’clock. And I’d just be watching the time. It was almost impossible to get up in the morning. My mum and dad would try and get me up,

Skip to 1 minute and 26 seconds and sometimes I’d sleep in till gone 11:00 and even then just still want to lay in bed all day. If I managed to get up and go to school, then when I was at school I lacked concentration. I couldn’t focus on the lesson. Sometimes I’d even fall asleep in class. And then when I got home, I’d just want to nap. And that just became a daily routine. The next day where I hadn’t gone to sleep and I hadn’t had that much sleep, it was obviously I was really tired throughout the day. And I just really didn’t want to wake up in the morning.

Skip to 2 minutes and 2 seconds And I found it a lot harder to wake up in the morning, especially when my mum would make me get up. She’d wake me up. I’d feel angry at the fact that she had woke me up, and angry at the fact that I couldn’t get to sleep that night. And I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get to sleep properly that day. So it had a knock-on effect throughout the day where I was just really tired. I couldn’t concentrate on my schoolwork. I couldn’t concentrate on what the teachers were saying to me, and even with my friends it had a massive effect on my friendships.

Skip to 2 minutes and 33 seconds Because where I was really tired, I couldn’t engage in their conversations and keep a conversation with them. So it was just really hard overall.

Young person's view: Sleeping difficulties

In this video we hear Jack and Emma discuss how their sleeping habits have changed. See if any of their experiences sound familiar. Please note: For the purposes of the course, these characters are played by actors but based on real case examples

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This video is from the free online course:

Understanding Depression and Low Mood in Young People

University of Reading