Link Between Sleep And Depression


There is a link between not sleeping and depression. If you have been diagnosed with the disorder, your therapist will tell you that you might have trouble sleeping. It’s either you won’t be able to sleep quickly, or it will be hard for you to stay asleep. Some sleep for an hour or two, and then, wake up. It’s tough, and that’s how depression affects people concerning their sleep.

Insomnia is prevalent, especially for mature people. In the US, this disorder affects one out of three adults at some point in their lives. Women are more likely to be insomniacs than men, and yes, it is a disorder.

The National Sleep Foundation reported that an average American adult sleeps for about six hours each night. The regular hours of sleep are at least seven to eight hours. If a person lacks sleep, issues will develop, and if he already has depression, the problem is enhanced some more.

Society, media, and even our families may tell us how we should be and what we should be doing. But we may rarely be instructed in the intricate steps for achieving these goals. — Maia Delmoor, MS, LPC, CAADC

What Is Clinical Depression?

It is a mood disorder and a mental health issue. Clinical depression causes people to become extremely sad while having feelings of loneliness, hopelessness, worthlessness, and helplessness. Everyone will feel sad or lonely at some point in their lives, but after a few hours or a day at most, the sadness goes away. It is different from depression. The feelings of extreme sadness don’t go away in a day. It remains for days, weeks, and others, even months. The feelings will also intensify, the mood is down, and your day to day function is affected because of it. That is clinical depression.


Does It Mean That If I Have A Sleep Disorder, I Have Depression As Well?

No, it doesn’t.

Someone suffering from a sleep disorder doesn’t necessarily mean that he is depressed. But a person who lacks sleep is at risk of developing depression. Those who lack sleep due to medical reasons can make their low mood turn into depression, and that is the problem here. If it lasts for an extended period, then, it may become a mood disorder.

Adequate Sleep Is Necessary – What Happens If You Lack Sleep?

People need to sleep because it is during this time that the body replenishes and restores itself. Sleep is the “restorative state” of a person. Now, if sleep is disturbed, the person will become agitated, tense, and irritable. If this continues to happen regularly, the person will be suffering from poor sleep, and constant poor sleep means chronic fatigue.

The person will become less active and will not be able to exercise daily if he is fatigued. His fitness level will deteriorate, and the unhealthy cycle will go on – lacking sleep and inactivity. This creates a bad mood and physical problems too.

We know illness is a tough time, and each person affected by the illness will react in entirely different ways given a variety of factors. This includes their circumstance, mindset, spiritual beliefs, and personality traits as well as socioeconomic status and access to quality care. — Todd Schmenk, LMHC

Is It Insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleep disorder and characterized by a person having trouble sleeping or cannot maintain it for the entire night without disturbances. The effect of this is nonrestorative sleep, and with that, the person will not function normally during the day. Lack of sleep will hinder one’s day to day activities, and with that, insomnia will eventually become a sign of a person’s depression or another mental health illness.

What Happens When Depression Is Untreated?

People with undiagnosed and untreated depression will go on with their daily lives feeling down and blue always. They will be overwhelmed with their feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, worthlessness, sadness, shame, and guilt. These feelings of a person can trigger the difficulty in sleeping and can also interrupt the slumber. The person’s mind will always run with thoughts about situations in his life that he has no control. He will then develop fears, worries, and anxiety over these uncontrollable instances, and sleep will become an issue.

How Is The Treatment For Sleep Issues And Depression?

Clinical depression can be mild or severe, and with that, the treatment will depend upon how severe is the disorder. For some, therapy is needed. Others have a severe type of clinical depression, and it is necessary to combine counseling or treatment with antidepressants. These methods are highly effective in treating depression, especially those with sleep issues.

What Medications Can Assist In Treating Depression And Insomnia?

Antidepressant medications can treat sleep disorders and depression with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or SSRI’s. Some psychiatrists may prescribe Prozac, Zoloft, or Paxil. Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors or SNRI’s are also common prescriptions – Effexor, Pristiq, or Cymbalta. These antidepressants may take some weeks to become active, but together with psychotherapy, it is the best treatment for people suffering from sleep disorders combined with depression.

Indeed, one of the studies cited by the APA found that having stronger and deeper social connections was associated with a 50 percent drop in risk of early mortality. — Guy Winch Ph.D.


Can I Not Take Medication With My Disorder?

Some people do not take antidepressants, but they have other natural ways to treat their depression. They meditate and listen to relaxing music. Reading a book is also an excellent way to manage the disorder, as well as focusing the mind on positive things. It may sound easy, but these natural things are tough to do. Not everyone can get rid of their depression just like that, which is why you have to find what will work for you.

Regular exercise eliminates depression since the workout releases happy hormones within the body. For some people, creating to-do lists at night and telling yourself in the morning that you will accomplish it also helps with the depression and even the sleep issues. Yoga can also initiate sleep, and if you want to sleep, you need to stop using any electronic device at least two hours before you head to bed. No using of gadgets in bed too.

There are so many things to do if you want to get rid of depression and improve your sleep. You just have to find what suits you.

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