Take Sleep Problems Seriously
You should tell your doctor if you:
- have trouble falling or staying asleep
- feel tired during the day
- have physical pain, discomfort or other complaints that prevent you from getting a good nights sleep
Treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia and continuous positive airway pressure devices for apnea can restore good sleep, helping you sidestep related conditions like depression.
Does Depression Affect Your Sleep
The effect that depression has on sleep is well-documented . One of the most common symptoms of depression is sleep disturbance. Up to 70 percent of people with depression have some sort of sleep disturbance. This can take the form of either:
- Insomnia. This sleep disorder makes it difficult to fall sleep or stay asleep for long periods of time.
- Hypersomnia. Also called excessive daytime sleepiness , hypersomnia causes you to feel abnormally sleepy throughout the day, even if youve gotten plenty of sleep.
What Other Techniques Can Help Me Sleep
In addition to trying medications, here are some tips to improve sleep:
- Learn relaxation or mindfulness-based meditation and deep-breathing techniques.
- Clear your head of concerns by writing a list of activities that need to be completed the next day and tell yourself you will think about it tomorrow.
- Get regular exercise, no later than a few hours before bedtime.
- Don’t use caffeine, alcohol, or nicotine in the evening.
- Don’t lie in bed tossing and turning. Get out of bed and do something in another room when you can’t sleep. Go back to bed when you are feeling drowsy.
- Use the bed only for sleeping and sexual activity. Don’t lie in bed to watch TV or read. This way, your bed becomes a cue for sleeping, not for lying awake.
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Why Does Depression Make You Sleep So Much Depression And Oversleeping
With the above said, however, oversleeping or not sleeping enough, is one of the many symptoms of depression. Depression can either cause you to oversleep or to not sleep enough.
Depression makes you sleep too much because of the toll depression and the other symptoms of it take on your body.
A depressed person is generally weighed down with the weight of all the issues that are bogging them down. This leads to other symptoms like being irritable and having serious mood swings, having a loss of appetite, and just being generally disinterested in life.
When all these symptoms are compounded, you have a person who is mentally and emotionally exhausted without realizing it. That mental and emotional exhaustion then takes its toll on the body leading to physical exhaustion. And when the body itself gets exhausted to that extent, its response is to sleep and in most cases, oversleep.
Check out this very helpful related article on How to stop thinking while sleeping to help you with getting a peaceful sleep undisturbed by overthinking.
Depression Affects Your Diet
When youre feeling depressed, you might have less of an appetite, skip meals, or have an overwhelming desire for sweet foods that have less nutritional value.
Large quantities of fat and sugar can make you feel groggy and tired.
Nutritious foods, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can provide healthy antioxidants and nutrients with energy-boosting effects and these are the foods that we tend to put to aside when depression arises.
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Depression Acts On Neurotransmitters To Make You Tired
Depression is likely associated with changes in brain neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. “These neurotransmitters play important roles in regulating energy levels, sleep, appetite, motivation, and pleasure,” Ricke says.;
According to Harvard Health Publishing, depression is a complex disease with many possible and interlinked causes, including genetics, medical conditions, stressful life events, and brain chemistry. And it can be challenging to tell the difference between everyday tiredness and depression-related fatigue.;
“Fatigue and depression can look quite similar,” says Alex Dimitriu, MD, psychiatrist and sleep medicine expert, and founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine.;
A Sign Of Atypical Depression
Dr. Drerup says that oversleeping is a symptom in 15% of people with depression and she notes that it tends to more often be related to atypical depression.
Atypical depression is a specific type of depression in which the persons mood can improve in response to a positive event. But even though their mood may brighten, its only temporary and the root depression remains.
Often, they dont realize theyre depressed, Dr. Drerup adds. Besides oversleeping, other symptoms are increased appetite and interpersonal sensitivity, like the feeling of being rejected. And that depression feeds into other reasons sleep can be so greatly affected.
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How To Calm Anxiety And Get Better Sleep
Although the impacts of anxiety disorders can be substantial, they are one of the most treatable mental health disorders. This doesnt mean that reducing anxiety is always simple, but there are treatments that can help.
Any person who has persistent or significant anxiety and/or sleeping problems should talk with a doctor who can best assess their situation and discuss the benefits and downsides of the potential treatment options in their case.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a common treatment for anxiety disorders. It is a type of talk therapy that works to reorient negative thinking, and it has had success in decreasing anxiety. Studies have found that CBT can often reduce anxiety even in people who have insomnia. Addressing anxiety can pave the way for better sleep, but severe cases of insomnia may persist after CBT for anxiety. CBT for insomnia may be a useful next step in these cases.
Several different types of medications are approved to treat anxiety disorders including anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants, and beta-blockers. These medications are intended to mitigate symptoms rather than cure the underlying anxiety.
Because of the multifaceted relationship between anxiety and sleep, getting better rest may help combat feelings of anxiety. Building healthy sleep habits can make going to bed a more pleasant experience and facilitate a consistent routine to enhance sleep.
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New Type Of Iron Deficiency Causes Insomnia And Depression
It is a common knowledge that deficiency in iron can cause anemia. In fact, it is one of the leading causes of anemia in the world.
But it does not end there.
There’s another type of iron deficiency that does not necessarily cause anemia but can lead to a variety of symptoms including fatigue, skin problems, sleep disorders, and depression.
What you’ll learn in this article:
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Polysomnographic Sleep Studies In Depression
The most detailed information on sleep in depression was provided by studies using polysomnography , that is considered the gold standard for sleep assessment. Based on registration of the three physiological parameters such as the brain , muscle and eye movements bioelectric activity, PSG allows human sleep to be scored into sleep stages. Subsequently, it is possible to calculate several sleep parameters 1) that express sleep continuity, sleep depth, and distribution of sleep stages.
Pain Is Another Way Your Brain Communicates
If you feel discomfort identifying and talking about distressing emotions, like sadness, anger, and shame, this could cause feelings to manifest differently in the body.
If youre experiencing any of these physical symptoms for a prolonged period of time, make an appointment with your primary care doctor or nurse practitioner. If you dont already have a provider, our Healthline FindCare tool can help you connect to physicians in your area.
According to the American Psychological Association, depression is one of the most common mental illnesses, affecting 14.8 million American adults each year.
Depression can be caused by a variety of factors, such as genetics, exposure to childhood stress or trauma, and brain chemistry. People with depression often need professional help, like psychotherapy and medication, to fully recover.
So at your appointment, if you suspect these physical symptoms might be more than surface level, request to be screened for depression and anxiety. This way your healthcare provider can connect you with the help you need.
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The Link Between Sleep And Mood
You probably know firsthand that sleep affects mood. After a sleepless night, you may be more irritable, short-tempered, and vulnerable to stress. Once you sleep well, your mood often returns to normal.Studies have shown that even partial sleep deprivation has a significant effect on mood. University of Pennsylvania researchers found that subjects who were limited to only 4.5 hours of sleep a night for one week reported feeling more stressed, angry, sad, and mentally exhausted. When the subjects resumed normal sleep, they reported a dramatic improvement in mood.1Not only does sleep affect mood, but mood and mental states can also affect sleep. Anxiety increases agitation and arousal, which make it hard to sleep. Stress also affects sleep by making the body aroused, awake, and alert. People who are under constant stress or who have abnormally exaggerated responses to stress tend to have sleep problems.
Sleep and Mood
Before And After You Consult A Sleep Specialist On The Relationship Between Lack Of Sleep And Depression
Make sure you’re following our tips on getting a better night’s sleep.
If you’re a sleep technologist and want to become a leading expert on the topic of how to take comorbidities into consideration when treating patients for sleep disorders, attend our 2015 Fall Course. For more information and to register for the course click the image below:
About Kevin Asp, CRT, RPSGT
Because of the implementation of his best practices of Implementing Inbound Marketing in its Medical Practice, he turned the once stagnant online presence of Alaska Sleep Clinic to that of “The Most Trafficked Sleep Center Website in the World” in just 18 months time. He is the President and CEO of inboundMed and enjoys helping sleep centers across the globe grow their business through his unique vision and experience of over 27 years in sleep medicine.
- Connect with Kevin Asp, CRT, RPSGT
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Altering Sleep As A Treatment Of Depression
Interestingly, it has been found that purposefully keeping a depressed person up all night may result in a rapid improvement in mood, which may be as effective than most antidepressants.; Later work indicated that similar results could be found by partial sleep deprivation or, as we mentioned earlier, by selectively depriving a person of REM sleep. These treatments are not very practical, and also have limitations , but they make an interesting point: sleep disturbances may not just be a result of depression, but in addition some dysfunction of sleep mechanisms may be involved in the genesis of depression.; Exploring this two-way relationship is an ongoing and active area of sleep research, which holds the promise of finding new ways to understand depression.
You Are Unwell/have A Health Condition That Is Unrelated To Depression
In the case of women, for instance, feelings of lethargy during their period or when pregnant can make them feel extreme fatigue and/or tiredness. Other health conditions unrelated to depression, like headaches, fevers, and the likes would make you feel extremely tired and unwell. Again, it will be important to see a doctor if you feel very tired and cannot pinpoint any health condition you are aware of that could be responsible for it.
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Aim To Exercise More And Start Small If You Need To
Though depressive attitudes may make it harder to work out, implementing an exercise routine thats realistic and attainable in your everyday life can ease depression fatigue.
Exercise has the added benefit of improving your sleep, too.
Its OK to start small even just walking for 30 minutes a day will likely boost your energy and mood. Exercise is truly an organic and reliable way to help address your depression fatigue.
What Causes Problems With Sleep
The things that affect our sleep differ for everyone. They can include:
- stresses or worries for example, issues with money, housing or;work
- problems with where you sleep for example, if you sleep somewhere uncomfortable or you’re easily disturbed
- health conditions relating to sleep, also known as sleep disorders
- being a parent or carer
“It’s not possible to relax if you don’t have anywhere comfortable and safe at night. This leads to not sleeping and worrying most of the night.”
If problems with sleep are worrying you or affecting your day to day life, it’s a good idea to see a doctor who can give you a health check and help you access treatment and support. If you fill in a sleep diary, you could take this to your appointment to show your doctor.
“My sleep problems are more a case of bedtime procrastination than insomnia as such and, as a consequence, being too tired the next morning. I still haven’t found out what works for me as I can get to sleep once I do get to bed.”
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Ii If I Don’t Sleep Well Does That Mean I’m Depressed
There are many things that can keep a person from sleeping well. Depression is only one of these causes. Young people under the age of 30 or 40 often have a hard time falling asleep when they are depressed. It affects older people in a different way. People over 40 are more likely to wake up during the night when they are depressed.
Many times, depression is not the cause of sleepless nights. Instead, feelings of depression can be the result of having a problem with your sleep. People often have a hard time sleeping at night due to a sleep disorder. Obstructive sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders. It causes you to stop breathing many times as you sleep. These pauses in breathing wake you up through the night. This makes you very sleepy the next day.
Periodic limb movement disorder also disrupts your sleep. It makes your leg muscles tighten or flex in a way that you are unable to control. This can also wake you up through the night. These are just two examples of the many sleep disorders that can keep you from getting a good night’s sleep.
You should talk to your doctor if you struggle with feelings of depression for more than two weeks. If it appears that a sleep disorder is the source of your problem, then a visit with a sleep specialist will also be helpful.
Signs Of Depression You Shouldnt Ignore
Many of us have fallen into a slump since the pandemic began. Significant changes in our lives can lead to situational depressive episodes, or worsen existing depression. Whether its directly related to current circumstances or something more longstanding, depression symptoms can cause major life disruptions. Here are common symptoms of depression as well as resources and ways to support a friend or loved one who is struggling.
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In The Case Of A Woman She Could Be Pregnant Or Suffering A Hormonal Imbalance Due To Her Period Or Other Health Reasons
One of the signs of pregnancy or a womans monthly period is usually oversleeping . It could also be a result of a hormonal imbalance or other health issues. As a woman, if you suddenly feel an onset of oversleeping out of the blues, it is worth thinking in this direction and checking that any of these could not be the reason.
Prioritize Getting Good Sleep
Since depression may be causing you to have disordered sleeping habits, it can be helpful to develop better sleep habits.
Sleep hygiene pretty much just means good sleeping habits. Here are some ways of implementing sleep hygiene:
- Be consistent with sleep and wake times. Try going to bed at roughly the same time each night and getting up at the same time each morning. This way, your body becomes accustomed to a certain routine that optimizes healthy sleeping.
- Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature. You can experiment with different room temperatures or try out a white noise machine. With patience, you might discover the best room environment to promote sleep.
- Remove TVs, computers, and smartphones from the bedroom. This may seem like an impossible task sometimes, but avoiding harsh blue light will help you fall asleep faster.
How Treating Lack Of Sleep Can Improve Depression
The first step to help patients who are not sleeping well is to identify whether there are comorbidities . This means finding out whether the patient is suffering from other conditions like depression, which may be an underlying factor related to their lack of sleep.
Studies have found that if you treat a patient for insomnia, who also has depression, there is a good chance that you will also improve their chances of feeling better from improvements in their level of depression.
What Is The Relationship Between Anxiety And Sleep
Serious sleep disturbances, including insomnia, have long been recognized as a common symptom of anxiety disorders. People who are plagued with worry often ruminate about their concerns in bed, and this anxiety at night can keep them from falling asleep.
In fact, a state of mental hyperarousal, frequently marked by worry, has been identified as a key factor behind insomnia. People with anxiety disorders are inclined to have higher sleep reactivity, which means they are much more likely to have sleeping problems when facing stress.
Sleeping difficulties have been found for people with various types of anxiety including generalized anxiety disorder, OCD, and PTSD. In several studies, over 90% of people with PTSD associated with military combat have reported symptoms of insomnia.
Distress about falling asleep can itself complicate matters, creating a sleep anxiety that reinforces a persons sense of dread and preoccupation. These negative thoughts about going to bed, a type of anticipatory anxiety, can create challenges to healthy sleep schedules and routines.
At the same time, strong evidence indicates that sleeping problems are not only a symptom of anxiety. Instead, sleep deprivation can instigate or worsen anxiety disorders. Researchers have found that people who are prone to anxiety are especially sensitive to the effects of insufficient sleep, which can provoke symptoms of anxiety.
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