Sleep Deprivation Can Lead To Depression
Depression is a mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, which greatly affects quality of life.
For decades, sleeping problems have been considered merely a consequence of depression. That being said, growing evidence supports the notion that sleep deprivation may actually lead to depression and/or exacerbate existing symptoms. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30734486/
Likewise, recent studies have demonstrated that both pharmacological and nonpharmacological remedies for insomnia may favorably reduce and possibly prevent depression. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19170404/
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy For Insomnia
In populations with depression, CBTi delivered in person delivers mood and sleep improvements 10.
As mentioned earlier, if sleep is improved then mood should improve and this appears to be the case10. The same is observed for remote CBTi but the evidence base isnât quite as strong right now. This may be because:
- The closer interaction between therapist and client leads to greater investment on the part of the client â they want to see the treatment through and have real support in doing so.
- The varied way in which remote CBTi is currently delivered introduces differences in efficacy. Being treated by a robot following a script will never have the same level of tailoring that might be needed for the best treatment outcomes.
Our own survey data collected here at Sleepstation demonstrates that CBTi can help with depression.
We note that a large percentage of people we treat for poor sleep also report an improvement in their depressive symptoms if theyâre living with depression as well as poor sleep.
We believe thatâs because of the unique way in which we deliver remote CBTi. Components of a well designed course of CBTi will include, but arenât limited to:
- Help with building habits good for sleep e.g. keeping a consistent sleep/wake schedule and mild exercise before bed
- Teaching methods to deal directly with unhelpful beliefs
- Relaxation strategies to manage anxiety once in bed
- Individualised, personalised support.
Heart Attack & Stroke
Sleep deficiency causes a greater instance of fatal cardiovascular problems, such as heart attacks and stroke. Doctors and researchers believe this is because the lack of sleep may disrupt the parts of the brain which control the circulatory system or cause inflammation that makes the development of a blood clot more likely.
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Sleep Boosts Mental Wellbeing
Given that a single sleepless night can make you irritable and moody the following day, it’s not surprising that chronic sleep debt may lead to long-term mood disorders like clinical depression and generalised anxiety disorder in adults.
When people with anxiety or depression were surveyed to calculate their sleeping habits, it turned out that most of them slept for less than 6 hours a night.
Is Sleep Deprivation Making You Suicidal
Recently, right before the Christmas holidays, a 27-year-old woman with a promising future as an investment banking associate at Citi Global Markets and a committed local philanthropist jumped to her death from an Upper West Side apartment building in New York City, blocks from where she lived.
Although police said that the victim, Jessica Fashano, was undergoing treatment for depression, friends and family members were stunned, because, as both The Huffington Postand and The New York Times reported, she was always in high spirits, had a big heart and was committed to doing charity work.
Years ago, around this time — near the Christmas holidays — a close friend of mine, who, like Fashano, was seeking treatment for depression, also committed suicide.
I’m now particularly touched and saddened whenever I hear about someone’s self-inflicted death, even if holiday suicides are a myth
Clearly, a number of things contribute to person being depressed or suicidal.
Often, I speak about the connection between sugar consumption and mood swings. In fact, I delved into it in detail in my book, “Sugar Shock.” And, of course, you may have heard about the connection between taking antidepressant medications and becoming suicidal. But today I’d like to bring up another connection about which you may not be aware.
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Sleep Deprivation And Depression: Can Sleep Deprivation Cause Depression
Feeling sleep deprived?
If youve read our articles on sleep deprivation and its effects before, youll know how serious the symptoms of lost sleep can be.
When you dont get enough rest each night, its not just your physical health that suffers, but your mental health too.
Sometimes, you dont have to go days without sleep to start feeling the change in your mental performance. Small levels of sleep deprivation can quickly chip away at your happiness.
An hour lost to Netflix here, another hour spent on study there, and youre suddenly a more irritable, less enthusiastic person.
Over the years, the link between mood and sleep has been a common consideration for scientists and healthcare professionals around the world. We already know that people with insomnia have a greater risk of being depressed or anxious than those who sleep normally.
People with sleep problems are 17 times more likely to have clinical anxiety, and 10 times more likely to suffer with depression.
So, whats the real connection between sleep deprivation and depression?
Tips For Coping With Depression
In addition to talking to a provider about treatments for depression, there are several steps you can take on your own:
- Exercise: Low-intensity exercise, even walking 10 minutes a day, can lead to improvements in mood and physical health. For some people with mild to moderate depression, exercise can work as effectively as an antidepressant.
- Support: Experiencing depression can feel isolating and hopeless, so remember that youre not alone. Spend time with others, talk about what youre experiencing, and try not to isolate yourself.
- Be realistic: Even with effective treatment, symptoms of depression may improve gradually.
Having depression can increase thoughts of suicide. If you or someone you know is in crisis, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
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What’s The Link Between Sleep Disorders And Depression
Having a sleep disorder does not in itself cause depression, but lack of sleep does play a role. Lack of sleep caused by another medical condition, a sleep disorder, or personal problems can make depression worse. An inability to sleep that lasts over a long period of time is also an important clue that someone may be depressed.
How Could Mental Health Problems Affect My Sleep
If you live with a mental health problem, this could affect your sleep in lots of ways. For example:
- Anxiety can cause racing or repetitive thoughts, and worries that keep you awake. You may also have panic attacks while you’re trying to sleep.
- Depression and seasonal affective disorder can make you sleep more, including staying in bed for longer or sleeping more often. Depression can also cause insomnia.
- If you’ve gone through trauma, this can cause flashbacks, nightmares or night terrors that disturb your sleep. You might feel unsafe or uncomfortable in bed or in the dark.
- Paranoia and psychosis may make it difficult to sleep. You may hear voices, or see things you find frightening or disturbing.
- Mania often causes feelings of energy and elation, so you might not feel tired or want to sleep. Racing thoughts can also keep you awake and cause insomnia.
- Psychiatric medication can cause side effects including insomnia, disturbed sleep, nightmares and oversleeping. Stopping psychiatric drugs can also cause sleep problems.
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Sleep Deprivation Can Lead To Anxiety
Anxiety is a mental health disorder characterized by feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear that are strong enough to interfere with daily life. Globally, one in 13 people suffers with anxiety. https://www.futurity.org/globally-1-in-13-suffers-from-anxiety/
For decades, scientists have accepted that sleeping problems are a common side effect of anxiety. The monkey mind of anxious people keeps them awake at night. It turns out, however, that sleeping problems arent just a result of anxiety they might also be a cause.
In 2007, scientists discovered that chronic insomnia is actually a risk factor for anxiety, meaning people with chronic insomnia are at higher risk for developing anxiety. Additionally, more recent research from 2013 indicates that poor sleep may actually activate anxiety in people who are at high-risk for it. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23804084/
Recognizing Sleep Deprivation In Teens
Here are a few common signs to watch for that might indicate that your teen is not getting enough sleep.
- Having trouble waking up most mornings
- Irritability and mood swings
- Light exposure from screens that cues the brain to stay awake.
Almost all teenagers, as they reach puberty, become walking zombies because they are getting far too little sleep. Cornell University psychologist James B. Maas, PhD, leading sleep expert
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Which One Is It
Mild emotional symptoms and difficulty concentrating when you know you are dealing with sleep debt can likely be attributed to sleep deprivation. While sleep debt can be dangerous , it can be remedied with proper sleep hygiene and stress reduction techniques.
Major depressive disorder, on the other hand, can significantly impair functioning and requires further treatment than proper sleep and stress reduction. A depressed mood that lasts two weeks or longer is a red flag to seek help from a licensed mental health practitioner. If you or a loved one experiences suicidal thoughts, dial 911 or go the nearest emergency room for an evaluation.
How Does Depression Affect Your Sleep
Thereâs been an increasing focus on mental health during the past few years and not without good reason:
- In the UK, one in four people is likely to experience a mental health problem each year in England alone
- One in six people will be unfortunate enough for that problem to be depression, anxiety or a combination of the two1.
The impact of these disorders can be crippling, with the adverse effects impacting upon every aspect of daily life.
Therefore, if youâre reading this and think you may be suffering from depression or anxiety, we urge you to seek help as soon as possible here
Sleep is just one of the aspects of your life affected by depression.
As we know from the literature, the extensive number of articles on the subject and relevant websites, a good nightâs sleep benefits health, mental ability and mood. This means that:
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How To Read Your Bodys Signals
Healthline spoke with Dr. Alex Dimitriu, a psychiatrist, sleep expert, and founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry and Sleep Medicine Center on understanding the differences between sleep deprivation and depression.
Sleep is the tip of the iceberg for our minds state, Dimitriu explains. People find it much easier to notice sleep is off because it is objective, thus it truly opens the door to investigating if something else is wrong.
The main symptom of sleep deprivation, which seems obvious, is daytime sleepiness. Other signs and symptoms include:
- increased appetite
- feelings of hopelessness, guilt, or both
- thoughts of suicide
The line between depression and sleep deprivation can blur, depending on what youre feeling and experiencing. Dimitriu often poses a question to the clients he works with that can get to the root of the problem, and it has to do with a persons motivation.
I often ask my patients if they have the desire to do things but lack the energy, or if they simply are not interested in the first place, Dimitriu says. Depressed people are more likely to say they simply dont care to do various activities, even pleasurable ones. Tired people often still have an interest to do things.
The Relationship Between Sleep And Mental Health
Its no secret that sleep plays an important role in good physical and mental health. Sleep deprivation can leave you feeling irritable and exhausted in the short-term, but it can also have serious long-term health consequences as well. Lack of sleep is linked to a number of unfavorable health consequences including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and depression.
Some psychiatric conditions can cause sleep problems, and sleep disturbances can also exacerbate the symptoms of many mental conditions including depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.
Research suggests that the relationship between sleep and mental health is complex. While sleep has long been known to be a consequence of many psychiatric conditions, more recent views suggest that sleep can also play a causal role in both the development and maintenance of different mental health problems.??
In other words, sleep problems can lead to changes in mental health, but mental health conditions can also worsen problems with sleep. Lack of sleep may trigger the onset of certain psychological conditions, although researchers are not completely certain of the underlying reasons for this. Because of this circular relationship between your sleep patterns and your mental state, it is important to talk to your doctor if you are having problems falling or staying asleep.
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Poor Sleep Can Lead To Depression In Adolescents
- University of Ottawa
- Chronic sleep disruption during adolescence can lead to depression in both males and females and alters stress reactivity in females, according to a new study. Their findings are particularly relevant in the context of a pandemic when adolescents’ mental health is already under strain.
Chronic sleep disruption during adolescence can lead to depression in both males and females and alters stress reactivity in females, according to a new study led by University of Ottawa researchers. Their findings, published in the journal Behavioral Brain Research, are particularly relevant in the context of a pandemic, when adolescents’ mental health is already under strain.
We talked to senior author Nafissa Ismail, Associate Professor at the uOttawa School of Psychology and University Research Chair in Stress and Mental Health, to learn more about the findings.
Why did you and your team decide to investigate sleep and depression in adolescents?
“More than 264 million people around the world suffer from depression. It is a prevalent mood disorder that reduces our quality of life. Individuals diagnosed with depression experience several symptoms including general malaise, reduced libido, sleep disruptions and suicidal tendencies in severe cases.
Sleep disruption is a common stressor during adolescent development. Its repeated exposure could partially be responsible for adolescent female susceptibility to depression.
How was the research conducted?
How Sleep Affects Your Mental Health
Sleep is a process that involves two major types of rest. The first kind of sleep is known as non-rapid eye movement rest. In this time, otherwise called quiet sleep, a person progresses slowly through four stages of increasingly deeper sleep. Your body temperature might drop, your heart rate and breathing slow, and the deepest stage of sleep even produces physiological changes to support the immune system.
The other kind of sleep, known as REM or rapid eye movement sleep, is when your dreams happen. In this stage, blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, and breathing increase to the levels that are similar to when youre awake. Studies report that REM sleep is critical to learning, memory, and emotional health.
Although theres still research to be done, scientists believe that sleep disruption affects stress hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain. This means that a lack of sleep can amplify and worsen the effects of psychiatric disorders.
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What Other Sleep Disorders Are Linked To Depression
Narcolepsy is another sleep disorder that has been linked to depression. Narcolepsy causes disturbances in your sleep-wake cycle. You tend to get very sleepy at times during the day and frequently wake up at night.
People with narcolepsy often also have depression, research shows. And sometimes, narcolepsy is misdiagnosed as depression. Lack of sleep can lead to symptoms, like lack of energy or motivation, that mimic those of depression.
Other conditions that interrupt your sleep, including sleep apnea and sleep movement disorders, can also contribute to depression.
Do Symptoms Evolve Or Change Over Time As A Function Of Increasing Time Spent Awake
We examined the time course of symptom development with increasing duration of sleep loss. The time at which symptoms were first elicited was extracted from each study. The results showed similar reports regarding the progression of symptoms with increasing time spent awake .4). A number of observations can be made:
Progression of symptom onset as a function of wakefulness duration, with time range at which symptoms were first reported .
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In Mensa Corpore Sane Health Body Healthy Mind And Good Sleep
I have treated so many people who were depressed, anxious or even paranoid because they were not well nourished and well rested. If you are robust and well you can often view your circumstances in a totally different way. Your perspective changes. Insurmountable challenges suddenly become manageable, and often the way forward is seen more clearly. I have seen people go from debilitating anxiety to having a new lease for life in just days. I have also seen and personally experienced, insomnia being cured in just a matter of days. The way you feel today is not set in stone. Life can change for the better very quickly.
Sleep and especially good quality sleep is not an option or a lifestyle choice. According to our genes and according to our nightly brain detox we have a definite biological NEED for sleep.
But what about the problems that can lead to insomnia in the first place? Can they contribute to anxiety and depression too?
In my opinion the answer is a definite YES.