Depression, Drugs + Sleep


Scientists measure the depth of someone’s depression using the Hamilton Scale, invented by the scientist Max Hamilton in 1959.

The Hamilton Scale ranges from 0 (loving life) to 51 (high suicide risk).

Interestingly, a 6 point rise can be elicited through improved sleep patterns and habits, whilst anti-depressant medications show only an improvement of 1.8 points.

Obviously I encourage those challenged with mental and emotional health to adopt all natural behaviour changes prior to medication. This is very often not the first piece of advice given in the medical arena.

When it comes to improving sleep (just one area in the inter-disciplinary approach that I use)……

Self Love September – Sleep from Erin Barnes on Vimeo.

  • Learn more about Vedic style meditation which has been shown to be the equivalent of 2-hours sleep in just a 20-minute daily meditation ritual (alongside all the other emotional, physical and neurological benefits of meditation)
  • Create exceptional, sustainable and consistent waking and sleeping rituals (eg, wake to gratitude and visualisation, lead into sleep with intentional questioning about your day, wake to breath and intention setting…)
  • Learn more about the many types of morning and evening journalling practices (one type of journalling does not suit all people)
  • Bring the power of nature indoors and diffuse calming organic Lavender or Instant Calm in the home during the lead into sleep, in the bedroom overnight, in the bath or shower, and a drop on your pillow
  • Turn all lights off and use soft lamps as soon as it gets dark outside
  • Understand the power of diaphragmatic breathing to control the nervous system, encouraging the body to step out of the stress response which commonly keeps people awake
  • Create exceptional planning processes around your next day to clear the mind of the incessant to-do’s
  • Avoid sugar in the evening, and the obvious culprits; alcohol and caffeine containing products (yes, that’s chocolate!)
  • Move your body EVERY day (choosing the correct modality for your current stress position- connect to customise)
  • Find an alternative to technology – despite the majority of the population using technology as their form of stress reduction, it is well documented that it negatively impacts melatonin production, stress and sleep quality

These changes aren’t easy to maintain, however they are a much safer alternative to the side-effects (known and unknown) of medications.

Take care and be well,

Erin xx