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 , no later than a few hours before .
- Don’t use , 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.
How Many Hours Should I Sleep For
Sleep is a naturally recurring state of rest for the mind and body where consciousness is completely or partially lost. It is a time where your body ‘closes business’ for the day and allows your brain to sort and store information that it has received. This is why sleep is vital for you to function optimally in your day-to-day activities.
The number of hours of sleep you need daily is dependent on your age, the National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours per day for adults.
Oversleeping, in an adult, is sleeping longer than 9 hours while under-sleeping in the same age bracket is sleeping less than 7 hours per day.
What Are Depression Naps
To many people, it won’t come as a surprise that sleep and mental health are closely intertwined. Sleeping for extensive amounts of time is commonly associated with diagnoses of depression, which is usually accompanied by several other symptoms and identifying factors.
In fact, several studies have shown that between 65% to 90% of adult patients with major depression have experienced sleep dysfunction in some form. One example is by napping for long periods on a daily basis, a practice also referred to as a “depression nap.”
According to Alex Dimitriu, MD, a psychiatrist and sleep medicine specialist and founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine in Menlo Park, California, depression naps refer to taking a nap when you’re feeling low, in an effort to boost your mood. But it might not necessarily indicate a serious problem.
“It is important to realize there is a very big difference between feeling tired, sleepy, sad, and depressed,” Dr. Dimitriu says. “A lot of times it can be hard to know your own feelings, and too often in my work, people with fatigue end up thinking they are depressed.”
What Problems Might I Have With Sleep
Everyone needs sleep, but many of us have problems with it. You might recognise some of the experiences listed below, or have other difficulties with sleep that aren’t mentioned here.
- find it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep or wake up earlier than you’d like to
- have problems that disturb your sleep, such as panic attacks, flashbacks, nightmares or psychosis
- find it hard to wake up or get out of bed
- often feel tired or sleepy – this could be because you’re not sleeping enough, not getting good quality sleep or because of health problems
- sleep a lot – which could include sleeping at times when you want, or need, to be awake.
“When I get depressed, I sleep so much – at its worst it was 18 hours a day, because it was the only way that I could stop thinking and stop my mind from saying awful things to me.”
If you’re having problems sleeping, you might:
- be more likely to feel , or
- be more likely to have psychotic episodes– poor sleep can trigger , or , or make existing symptoms worse
- feel or isolated – for example, if you don’t have the energy to see people or they don’t seem to understand
- struggle to concentrate, or make plans and decisions
- feel irritable or not have energy to do things
- have problems with day to day life – for example, at work or with family and friends
- be more affected by other health problems, including mental health problems.
“During the day, my brain is fuzzy, my memory is noticeably affected. I barely have energy to function.”
The Link Between Sleep Disturbances And Depression
Approximately 80% of people with depression experience sleep disturbances. While some have trouble falling asleep, others have difficulty staying asleep. And some find themselves sleeping too much.
Both depression and insomnia involve chemicals in the brain. Changes in neurotransmitters and hormonal imbalances may affect both sleep and mood.
For many years, researchers studied which came first: depression or insomnia. It was clear that the two issues often go hand-in-hand and exacerbate one another.
Studies show that sleep disturbances often occur before depression begins.?? Experiencing insomnia prior to feeling depressed may increase the severity of depression.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine now encourages treatment providers to pay close attention to whether insomnia needs to be identified as a separate condition as opposed to viewing it as a symptom of depression only.
There Is Nothing To Wake Up To
Is what he said to me when I asked him about his sleeping habits.
People with depression don’t 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 didn’t say willpower – It’s not that they can’t go on, it’s 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 one’s 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 sleeper’s 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 doesn’t really work out for them.
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 they’ve 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 To Catch Up On Lost Sleep
If you don’t get enough sleep, there’s only one way to compensate – getting more sleep.
It won’t happen with a single early night. If you’ve had months of restricted sleep, you’ll have built up a significant sleep debt, so expect recovery to take several weeks.
Starting on a weekend, try to add on an extra hour or 2 of sleep a night. The way to do this is to go to bed when you’re tired, and allow your body to wake you in the morning .
Expect to sleep for upwards of 10 hours a night at first. After a while, the amount of time you sleep will gradually decrease to a normal level.
Don’t rely on caffeine or energy drinks as a short-term pick-me-up. They may boost your energy and concentration temporarily, but can disrupt your sleep patterns even further in the long term.
How Is Depression Treated
While depression can have dramatic effects on a person’s 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 isn’t limited to just one of these approaches; in fact, combining medication and psychotherapy has shown higher rates of improvement than one approach alone.
The Link Can Go Both Ways
Sleep problems can develop long before depression, though experts have yet to determine exactly how sleep difficulties might contribute to depression risk.
When you live with depression, oversleeping on a regular basis could potentially worsen your symptoms.
A 2014 study even suggested that people who sleep for more than 8 hours may experience more depression symptoms than people who sleep 8 hours or fewer each night.
Think of it as a cycle. Depression often affects your mood, energy, and outlook for the future. You might feel drained and lethargic, less interested in your usual activities, and hopeless that your symptoms will ever improve.
Sleep, then, offers more than one solution. You might sleep because:
- you feel fatigued
- you have little interest in anything else
- sleep helps you temporarily escape other symptoms
Even simply lying in bed and occasionally dozing off might seem like the best way to spend your time when you don’t feel up to anything else. But then you might start feeling about spending so much time in bed, leading to an even more dismal mood.
It’s normal to feel a little down or “blah” after sleeping in, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have depression.
Clinical depression causes persistent changes in mood that show up in most areas of life.
You might notice:
- changes in your normal energy levels
- feelings of sadness or hopelessness that don’t go away
- less interest in the activities you usually enjoy
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 it’s 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.
What Is The Relationship Between Anxiety And Sleep
Serious sleep disturbances, including , 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, , 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 person’s 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.
Connections have been found between anxiety disorders and changes in a person’s sleep cycles. Research indicates that anxiety and pre-sleep rumination may affect rapid eye movement sleep, which involves the most vivid dreaming. Anxiety may provoke more disturbing dreams and create a higher likelihood of sleep disruptions. may reinforce negative associations and fear around going to sleep.
Impaired Brain Functioning And Mental Health
Sleep plays an important role in the brain, as the brain clears out waste byproducts, balances neurotransmitters and processes memories at rest. At both short and long extremes, rest may have an effect on mood and mental health.
CognitionUsing data from the Lumosity brain-training platform, researchers found that cognitive performance on three different games all peaked when people sleptaround seven hours,Verified SourceNational Library of Medicine World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible.View sourceworsening with more or less rest. Other studies have also foundmemory impairmentsVerified SourceNational Library of Medicine World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible.View sourceanddecreased cognitive functionVerified SourceResearch GateNetwork service for scientific researchers that makes it easy for experts to find and share papers.View sourcewith longer sleep.
Degenerative DiseasesOther research indicates that getting too little or too much sleep may be tied to increased Alzheimer’s disease risk factors and a largeSpanish studyVerified SourceNational Library of Medicine World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible.View sourcefound that long sleepers may be at increased risk of developing dementia.
How Are Depression And Sleep Related
Depression and sleep are closely connected. Almost all people with depression experience sleep issues. In fact, doctors may hesitate to diagnose depression in the absence of complaints about sleep.
Depression and sleep issues have a bidirectional relationship. This means that poor sleep can contribute to the development of depression and that having depression makes a person more likely to develop sleep issues. This complex relationship can make it challenging to know which came first, sleep issues or depression.
Sleep issues associated with depression include , hypersomnia, and obstructive sleep apnea. Insomnia is the most common and is estimated to occur in about 75% of adult patients with depression. It is believed that about 20% of people with depression have obstructive sleep apnea and about 15% have hypersomnia. Many people with depression may go back and forth between insomnia and hypersomnia during a single period of depression.
Sleep issues may contribute to the development of depression through changes in the function of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Sleep disruptions can affect the body’s stress system, disrupting circadian rhythms and increasing vulnerability for depression.
Fortunately, people who are treated for major depression often report improved quality of their sleep.
Do You Feel Sleep Deprived
Take our 2-minute Sleep Deprivation and Depression quizzes to see if you simply aren’t getting enough sleep or if you may benefit from further diagnosis and treatment.
Sleep deprivation weakens the prefrontal cortex’s ability to control the amygdala , making it difficult to process and cope with emotions. When the brain is deprived of adequate sleep, it also struggles to concentrate and regulate growth and appetite.
Sleep deprivation can have a profound effect on both the emotional and cognitive functioning of the brain. This results in bad moods, negative thinking, decreased empathy, and poor impulse control.
The good news is that sleep deprivation can be treated, and getting on a regular sleep cycle can alleviate the above symptoms.
Why Depression Makes You So Damn Tired All The Time
Fatigue, like stress and busyness, has become a default state for many people. The feeling, characterized by extreme tiredness and low energy, usually occurs after an especially mentally, emotionally or physically draining experience.
But it’s not always temporary or circumstantial. Fatigue can also be a symptom of a bigger issue, like depression. In fact, fatigue occurs in over 90 percent of people living with the mental health condition, according to 2018 data.
For someone to have depression, not just general fatigue, “several of these symptoms need to be present most days, for most of the day, for at least two weeks,” said Don Mordecai, a psychiatrist and the national leader for mental health and wellness at Kaiser Permanente.
Part of the reason depression and debilitating fatigue go hand in hand is because “depression affects neurotransmitters associated with alertness and the reward system,” Mordecai said. That means the illness physiologically has an impact on your energy levels.
Another reason is that depression negatively affects sleep, “whether it’s difficulty falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, waking up too early or just not sleeping as deeply,” said Sari Chait, a clinical psychologist based in Massachusetts.
“People with depression who push themselves to get through their day can, in turn, experience more fatigue, which can then make them feel even more depressed, and the cycle keeps going.”
– Sari Chait, clinical psychologist
You May Not Realize It But There Are Many Problems With Sleeping Too Much
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.
It’s actually not. Like insufficient sleep, oversleeping is a sign of disordered sleep. It may be connected to a mental health issue, such as . It’s 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 isn’t 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.
How Much Sleep Is Too Much
Generally, experts recommend adults get between seven to nine hours of sleep per night, but this can vary based on individual needs. There will also be times when you’ll need more sleep than usual, such as when you’re suffering from jet lag, experiencing an abnormal amount of stress, or recovering from an illness.
You’ll know you’re getting enough sleep when you wake up feeling refreshed and restored. However, if you’re regularly sleeping more than nine or 10 hours per night, and you still feel tired during the day, that’s a sign you’re oversleeping. Around 8% to 9% of people oversleep, with women being more likely to do so than men.
Diagnosis Or Identifying Depression Naps
It can be hard to pinpoint whether a napping habit is truly a symptom of depression, or if you’re just exhausted, Dr. Dimitriu says. The first step is to confirm whether basic human needs are being met, such as getting enough sleep for at least a week, eating healthy, some socialization, and exercise
Working too much and playing too little can also cause burnout or depression, terms that are often used interchangeably, which can add further confusion. “If someone experiences low mood on more days than not, with a loss of interest in pleasure or lack of joy, it may be time to speak to a professional,” Dr. Dimitriu says. “However, thoughts of death or suicide are an immediate red flag that professional help is needed.”
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 you’re not alone. Spend time with others, talk about what you’re 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
What Causes Anxiety Disorders
The exact cause of anxiety is unknown. In fact, researchers believe that there is not one single cause but rather an interplay of factors that include a person’s genetics, family history, and exposure to negative life events. Some health problems and drugs can also contribute to symptoms of anxiety.
Depression And Oversleeping: I Want To Sleep All The Time
Oversleeping is my way out of depression. That’s not so odd seeing that sleep, whether it is too much or too little, can be a symptom of depression. For me, I could never get enough sleep. That is often still the case, a keen reminder that I must always be aware of the symptoms of depression that affect me. Depression makes me want to oversleep to numb the pain.
: Persistent Irritability Or Mood Swings
Depression can cause us to experience outbursts and mood swings. One minute we’re angry, the next we’re crying uncontrollably or we shut down and go numb. Changes in our mood can switch in a moment’s 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.
Residual Insomnia: Relapse And Recurrence
There is much evidence that effective antidepressant treatments can successfully elicit significant response in depression, but is much less evidence that effective treatment fully addresses the problem of sleep disturbance. Persistent insomnia is one of the most common residual symptoms in patients with incomplete remission: This presents a problem, given the fact that residual insomnia confers greater risk of subsequent depression: in a study of “remitted” patients maintained on a selective serotonin reuptake inhibotor and psychotherapy, subjective sleep problems and anxiety were each found to be predictors of early recurrence. The origin of these residual symptoms of insomnia is probably multifactorial, reflecting ongoing functional brain abnormalities as well as adverse effects of some drug treatments, for example SSRIs, particularly fluoxetine, can lead to insomnia.
Depression Also Affects Your Ability To Sleep
Adults should sleep seven hours a day or more, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For people with depression, that task may be challenging.
“People with depression often have trouble falling asleep or difficulty staying asleep, or both,” says Dimitriu. People with depression may experience less slow wave — or deep — sleep, according to a September 2014 review in the journal Sleep Science. The end result? Sleep feels “less restful and restorative,” says Ricke.
Plus, people who are depressed can engage in “maladaptive behaviors that contribute to poor sleep,” says Ricke. For instance, depression-related fatigue can lead to someone taking a nap, which will only make falling asleep in the evening harder, she says.
Dimitriu and Ricke note that staying active may be hard for someone with depression, but resisting the temptation to stay on the couch can go a long way — in fact, getting some physical activity each day may even help you sleep better at night.