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Does Sleeping A Lot Cause Depression

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Sleep Disturbance And Bipolar Depression

Although less studied, sleep disturbances are characteristic features in bipolar depression with decreased need for sleep symptomatic in episodes of mania, and either insomnia or hypersomnia symptomatic in episodes of depression. Sleep also appears to be significantly impaired during euthymic periods, with elevated levels of sleep disturbance and reduced daily sleep-wake rhythm stability. Such sleep disturbances may also be related to the pathogenesis of depression and especially mania, with increases in sleep problems just prior to an episode that, continue to worsen within an episode. According to a systematic review of prodomal symptoms among patients with BD, sleep disturbance was the most common prodome for mania , and the sixth most common prodrome for depression . Targeting sleep during mania may shorten episode duration. Although these findings suggest that treating sleep disturbance may prolong remission and prevent, relapse, no prospective data yet exist supporting this notion. However, treatments that target sleep/wake regularity may help reduce relapse in BD. Stabilizing social rhythms with interpersonal and social rhythm therapy is effective in reducing relapse in bipolar disorder. For further information on sleep and circadian rhythm disturbances in BD, see the following recent reviews. ,,

Here Are Some Sleep Problems People Experience


Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, affecting around one in five people. You may have insomnia if you find it hard to go to sleep, wake up several times during the night or wake up too early. During the day you may feel sleepy, anxious, irritable, and unable to concentrate or remember things.


Narcolepsy can cause you to suddenly fall asleep at inappropriate times. Its caused by the brain being unable to regulate your sleeping and waking patterns. If you have narcolepsy, you may feel very drowsy throughout the day and fall asleep suddenly and without warning for example, while at work, talking, or driving. There is no cure but the symptoms can be controlled by medication and by lifestyle adjustments such as changing your sleeping routine, improving your diet and exercising.

Sleep apnoea

Sleep apnoea is when your breathing stops and starts when you sleep, constantly interrupting your rest. If you have sleep apnoea, you will often snore loudly or make gasping or choking noises while you sleep. During the day, you will feel very tired, find it hard to concentrate, have mood swings, and have a headache on waking.

Losing weight and sleeping on your side can help mild sleep apnoea. You can also be prescribed special devices to help keep your airway open during sleep.

He Didnt Want To Wake Up

A few years back I knew a person.I couldnt really say that we were friends per say, but I did know said person far better than I had any right to.

How so? Well, we both served together in the army.Now, as a soldier, you get to interact with all kinds of people, even those who you wouldnt be caught dead spending time with.Kind of like having co-workers, only far more extreme considering that you spend all of your free time with them as well.

He and I were put on guard duty at some military factory nearby.Pretty boring stuff, nothing unusual there.

There was a catch though.It was a specialized factory. A place that hired civilian workers.There were about 40 or so soldiers stationed there, with about 400-500 civilian workers.The utilities there were off the charts when compared to any other facility that I have ever seen.

That one person I met there was this guy who had guard duty right before me.In other words, when we were changing shifts I was to meet him and ask him if everything is alright.

And he interpreted that as telling me all about his problems.We struck a conversation that ended up becoming quite personal and lengthy.

I never saw him outside of these regular meetings.We didnt share a room and I havent really seen him out of his, so that was that.

As I found out later from one of his roommates, he spent practically all day long sleeping.I figured as much, honestly.

What Are The Types Of Depressive Disorders

Significant feelings of sadness or a loss of interest in their normal daily activities are common in all depressive disorders. Specific forms of depression vary based on the severity of symptoms and the situation in which they develop.

The most well-known type is major depressive disorder, and it is marked by symptoms that affect a person virtually every day for an extended period of time. It commonly involves sleep disruptions.

Persistent depressive disorder, also called dysthymia or chronic depression, may involve fewer symptoms than major depression, but symptoms last for at least two years and any symptom-free period lasts no longer than two months.

Other types of depression, such as premenstrual dysphoric disorder and seasonal affective disorder tend to come and go over shorter periods but can also involve significant sleeping problems.

The Health Impact Of Oversleeping

Why Do I Sleep So Much: When Im Sick, Depressed, on the ...

Seeking to find the sleep sweet spot for optimal health, researchers have been busy recently looking at how different habits connect with physical and mental well-being. Several trends have emerged linking oversleeping with higher rates of mortality and disease as well as things like depression.

Research Links Longer Sleep Habits with:

  • Cognitive impairment
  • Higher all-cause mortality

The Rem Theory Of Sleep And Why Its Not Quite Right

Sleep consists of a number of stages, one of which is termed REM sleep. The REM stage of sleep is linked to dreaming. Strangely enough, when in REM sleep, our brain activity levels are similar to what they would be when weâre awake.

There are a few non-REM stages as well and the most important is slow-wave sleep. Thatâs the type of sleep we need to feel refreshed in the morning.

When we sleep, we alternate between REM and non-REM stages. But itâs been found that people living with depression spend a greater amount of their sleep time in the REM stages of sleep. This altered sleep behaviour persists in people who have a history of depression but are not currently suffering an episode.

This has led to the idea that increased REM sleep leads to depression. This is something youâll often see written on other sleep websites and in earlier scientific literature but it isnât strictly true.

A more helpful way to understand the sleep disturbances those with depression experience is to think of their sleep cycle being somewhat . This disruption leads to mood disturbances like depression.

As a result of this âshiftâ it would seem that depressed populations experience less restorative slow-wave sleep during their time in bed, which may lead to a mood disturbance.

It also means that people living with depression experience REM sleep earlier in their night. That may have led earlier researchers to the conclusion that increased REM sleep leads to depressive illness.

How Is Depression Diagnosed

Depression can only be diagnosed by a medical professional, so people experiencing symptoms of depression should talk with their doctor, counselor, or psychiatrist. They may ask about the severity of the symptoms and how long theyve persisted. They may also suggest tests that can help them to better understand your situation and monitor changes or improvements over time.

A provider may also refer patients to a specialist in sleep disorders to help determine if there is an underlying sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome, that may be causing depression or contributing to symptoms.

How Is Depression Treated

While depression can have dramatic effects on a persons sleep and overall quality of life, it can be treated. After working with a doctor or mental health provider to understand the type and severity of depression, treatment may include:

  • Counseling: Depression can be treated effectively with several types of counseling, including cognitive-behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy . CBT for insomnia is a type of CBT that focuses on managing chronic insomnia.
  • Medications: Antidepressants are an effective treatment for depression. These prescription medications usually take time before they begin to improve symptoms and patients may need to try several antidepressants before finding the right fit. A doctor or psychiatrist can discuss the appropriateness of these medications and recommend a specific type.
  • Brain stimulation therapies: When medications and other approaches are not effective, some people with depression consider electroconvulsive therapy or other, more recent types of brain stimulation like repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and vagus nerve stimulation . These treatments can be effective but are only provided under the guidance of a trained professional.

Treatment often isnt limited to just one of these approaches; in fact, combining medication and psychotherapy has shown higher rates of improvement than one approach alone.

Getting Back On Track

If oversleeping is a symptom of depression, its most important to see a healthcare provider for treatment of that depression. And even if someone is being treated for depression, the sleep difficulties can be residual. Sleep can remain a struggle because its developed a life of its own and become very habitual, she says.

Dr. Drerup does have a few suggestions on how you can avoid falling into bad sleep habits that could exacerbate the sleep situation. These techniques can make a huge difference for people when they implement behavioral changes like this because the mood symptoms arent impairing them.

If people can get out of bed and get a more consistent start to their day, it can make their day better, Dr. Drerup says. They feel like they can be more productive and get more accomplished. And it can help improve their mood and allow them to make other changes over time that helps increase more pleasurable activities and engaging with people instead of the oversleeping and avoidance of interactions.

Hands off the snooze button

This may not be a popular idea given how much its a ritual for so many of us. But Dr. Drerup points out that repeatedly hitting the snooze button doesnt really help you. When you hit the snooze button and you doze for those short seven or eight minute increments, youre getting brief, fragmented sleep periods. You may think youre gradually becoming more alert but really youre developing sleep inertia and your body wants to stay asleep.

Increased Risk Of Depression In Insomnia

The National Institute of Mental Health Epidemiologic Catchment Area study 20 years ago interviewed 7954 adults on two occasions a year apart, and this study first highlighted the strong association between sleep disturbance and subsequent depression. They found that 14% of those who had insomnia at the first interview had developed new major depression a year later. This data has been augmented by several more recent reports of increased risk. Brcslau ct al, in a survey of 1200 young adults in Michigan, found that the odds ratio of new depression in was 4 times increased in those subjects who had insomnia 3 years earlier, and in a questionnaire survey of adults over 18 in the UK there was a 3-fold increased risk of new depression if subjects had reported one sleep problem occurring on most nights a year earlier. Doctors in a prospective study who had complained of insomnia during medical school in the 1950s and 1960s were twice as likely to have developed depression at follow-up in 1990s.

It is apparent that sleep problems often appear before other depression symptoms, and that subjective sleep quality worsens before onset of an episode in recurrent depression.

How Can You Deal With Oversleeping And Fatigue/tiredness As A Result Of Depression

First things first, you need to be sure that your oversleeping and/or fatigue is attributable to depression. Once you have ruled out all the other causes that we have mentioned in the earlier sections, then your best solution is to deal with the depression you feel.

You have to tackle the depression itself because the issue of oversleeping and fatigue are not the problems themselves. They are merely the symptoms, and treating the symptoms will not make the problem go away. And if the problem is not dealt with and eliminated, the symptoms will persist.

To deal with depression, especially when it has become serious, the best solution is to seek professional help from a therapist.

A therapist will help talk you through what could be have triggered the onset of the depression. Sometimes it could be a tragic loss . For others, it could be the onset of a midlife crisis. And in other cases, it could just be an unresolved issue from the past.

Whatever the reason might be, talking to a therapist will help you figure it out. And once you have figured it out, the therapist would be able to help recommend any steps or treatment that is tailored to your specific needs.

If you suspect that a midlife crisis might be the reason for your depression, our articles on What is a midlife crisis for a woman and Male midlife crisis stages can give you a headstart on finding solutions before seeing a therapist.

: Difficulty Getting Up In The Morning

Its normal to enjoy sleeping in or spending time in bed. However, if it has become difficult to find the motivation to get out of bed or get ready in the morning, this could be a sign of depression. Depression can make us feel fatigued and physically drained to the point where even small tasks, like getting up in the morning, can feel exhausting or difficult to do. 

You May Not Realize It But There Are Many Problems With Sleeping Too Much

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In a world where so many of us are struggling to get enough sleep, the issue of too much might seem like a luxury problem.

Its actually not. Like insufficient sleep, oversleeping is a sign of disordered sleep. It may be connected to a mental health issue, such as . Its often a signal that a person is experiencing poor sleep quality, and it can be a sign of a clinical sleep disorder, including obstructive sleep apnea or narcolepsy.

Sleeping too much is linked with many of the same health risks as sleeping too little, including heart disease, metabolic problems such as diabetes and obesity, and cognitive issues including difficulty with . Similar to people who sleep too little, people who sleep too much have higher overall mortality risks.

We talk a lot about insufficient sleep, and the risks that a lack of sleep poses for physical health, mood, relationships, and performance. But oversleeping isnt something to ignore.

Hypersomnia is the clinical term for excessive sleeping and excessive sleepiness during the day. Like its counterpart, insomnia, hypersomnia has several core symptoms:

  • Sleeping for extended hours at night .
  • Difficulty waking up in the morning .
  • Trouble rising from bed and starting the day.
  • Grogginess on and off or consistently throughout the day.
  • Trouble concentrating.

How much sleep is too much?

Your age. You may find you need seven hours of sleep in your 20s and eight hours or six and a half in your 50s or 60s.

There Is Nothing To Wake Up To

Is what he said to me when I asked him about his sleeping habits.

People with depression dont want to wake up, this is a major contributing factor to morning depression.

As he testified, he does not feel anything towards the future, and does not believe that anything will change for the better.

This is an absolutely terrible stance to take, yet many depressed people have similar thoughts on a daily basis.I should know, I was/am one of them.

When it comes to therapy and self-help, taking action is the most important thing, arguably more so than even having the right kind of mindset.

Their lack of energy is synonymous with their lack of will to go on.Note that I didnt say willpower Its not that they cant go on, its that they simply stopped trying.

This is one reason that depressed people spend a lot of their time sleeping.


I am talking about both physical and mental fatigue, in this case.But why? Two words, brain activity.

You see, scientists assess ones quality of sleep based on his brain activity during sleep, and how it works out in accordance with the stages of sleep.One such stage is called Rapid Eye Movement sleep.

It means that you are asleep and are dreaming, with your eyes moving around rapidly inside your sockets.

This is a standard stage of any sleepers sleeping cycle.In fact, this is the final stage of the sleep cycle, and during that last stage, you hardly rest at all.

As such, they try to get some rest, but this doesnt really work out for them.

Setting The Stage For Healthier Sleep

The field of sleep science is still looking into the cause and effect relationship between oversleeping and health, but some habits and steps that promote better quality sleep and healthy sleep duration are known.

While a small percentage of people naturally sleep longer, for many long sleepers , there are certain conditions, behaviors and environmental factors that can increase sleep need or affect sleep quality .

To get an idea of how to avoid oversleeping and get healthier Zzzs, we reached out to a few sleep experts for their words of wisdom. Heres what they had to say:

: Persistent Irritability Or Mood Swings

Depression can cause us to experience outbursts and mood swings. One minute were angry, the next were crying uncontrollably or we shut down and go numb. Changes in our mood can switch in a moments notice. Sometimes these changes can be triggered by small or insignificant challenges, while other times they can come about unprovoked. If you notice a pattern of irritability or mood swings that last more than a few days, it may be linked to depression.

Are You Sleeping Too Much

First, lets address what oversleeping means. The gold standard of normal has long been considered eight hours, and its a good median benchmark. Recent reviews of current research from the experts at the National Sleep Foundation broaden the spectrum a little. They say that somewhere in the range ofseven to nine hoursVerified SourceNational Sleep FoundationNonprofit focused on educating about sleep health.View sourceis normal and healthy for most adults between 18 and 64 years of age.

Some say closer to seven hours could be even better, such as Arizona State University professor Shawn Youngstedt, who told the Wall Street Journal, The lowest mortality and morbidity is with seven hours. Other researchers have also linked seven hours of rest with things like and better brain health.

The right amount of sleep proves somewhat individual as some people will feel great on seven hours and others may need a little longer. However, in most studies and for most experts, over nine hours is considered an excessive or long amount of sleep for adults.

If you sleep in a little sometimes on the weekends, its likely no big deal. If you regularly sleep more than nine hours each night or dont feel well-rested on less than that, then it may be worth taking a closer look.

She adds, Look at what could be causing the poor sleep qualityenvironmental factors , medications, comorbid conditions , or sleep disorders .

When To See A Professional

Most people oversleep on occasion, especially after a few late nights or intense physical activity. If you usually dont have any problems getting up in the morning, you probably dont need to worry about sleeping too long once in a while.

But, if you notice more frequent oversleeping, it may be time to talk with a healthcare professional. Only medical and mental health professionals can diagnose sleep disorders and mental health conditions.

Getting an expert opinion becomes even more important when:

  • symptoms of depression persist for longer than 1 to 2 weeks
  • you dont feel rested after any amount of sleep
  • you cant stay awake during the day
  • your regular activities no longer interest you
  • changes in mood begin to affect your daily life or relationships

If you need help now

If you need someone to talk with in a moment of distress, trained, compassionate crisis counselors can listen and offer support with finding helpful ways to cope. Here are a few options:

Since depression and sleep disorder symptoms can overlap, make sure to tell a professional about all of your symptoms.

Even the symptoms that dont seem relevant , , aches and pains, increased tearfulness can help a professional figure out whats affecting your sleep habits.

Already getting support for depression? If you continue to oversleep, even as other symptoms improve, let your care team know. They can offer guidance on alternative approaches and treatments that can help prevent oversleeping and

Why Do People Sleep Too Much

For people who suffer from hypersomnia, oversleeping is actually a medical disorder. The condition causes people to suffer from extreme sleepiness throughout the day, which is not usually relieved by napping. It also causes them to sleep for unusually long periods of time at night. Many people with hypersomnia experience symptoms of anxiety, low energy, and memory problems as a result of their almost constant need for sleep.

Obstructive sleep apnea, a disorder that causes people to stop breathing momentarily during sleep, can also lead to an increased need for sleep. That’s because it disrupts the normal sleep cycle.

Of course, not everyone who oversleeps has a sleep disorder. Other possible causes of oversleeping include the use of certain substances, such as alcohol and some prescription . Other medical conditions, including , can cause people to oversleep. And then there are people who simply want to sleep a lot.

What Causes Problems With Sleep

The things that affect our sleep differ for everyone. They can include:

  • stresses or worries for example, issues with , or 
  • 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

For more information about sleep disorders, see the Mental Health Foundation and Royal College of Psychiatrists websites, and our list of useful contacts.

“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.”

You Are Unwell/have A Health Condition That Is Unrelated To Depression

Chronic Sleep Deprivation Can Increase Depression in Women

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.

How To Feel Better After Oversleeping

You wake up much later than planned, completely out of sorts. You stare at the clock in disbelief and dismay. What next?

If you already feel miserable, it might seem tempting to write the day off and stay in bed.

Yet, even though getting up might feel like an impossible feat, these strategies can help ease that groggy, late-morning funk.

Tips For Better Sleep

Many lifestyle tips for coping with depression can also improve sleep. Tips for targeting sleep issues often focus on improving sleep hygiene , which are behaviors that have been shown to benefit sleep health:

  • Exercise More: Getting sufficient exercise improves sleep quality , makes it easier to fall asleep, and reduces daytime sleepiness.
  • Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule: Going to sleep and getting up at the same time every day may help sync your drive to sleep and your circadian rhythm. Since irregular sleep schedules are associated with daytime sleepiness and lower sleep quality, its important to maintain a consistent sleep schedule even on the weekends.
  • Reserve the Bed For Sleep and Sex: People who use their bed for activities other than sleeping may begin to associate their bedroom with these unhelpful habits. One behavioral approach to treating insomnia is to restrict the bed to only two activities : sleep and sex.
  • Create a Nighttime Routine: Before bed, give yourself some time to wind down and relax. Turn off the TV, silence your cell phone, and find activities that help you ease into bed. Some people find reading, journaling, or taking a warm bath before bed to be helpful.
  • Revamp Your Bedroom: Making sure that your bedroom is optimized for sleep can make a big difference. Reduce noise and light that may keep you awake, make sure the bedroom temperature is comfortable, and consider bedroom scents to help you relax.


  • 1.Accessed on March 20, 2021.
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