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.
Insomnia As A Subsequent Symptom
According to Harvard Health, 69% of people with insomnia also struggled with depression later on. In another study, 21% of individuals reported that they struggled with a combination of hypersomnia and insomnia. These two studies suggest that depressive episodes may cause insomnia or hypersomnia. Issues with sleep due to depression can happen in a variety of ways, including changes to sleep regulation processes or side effects of prescription medication. This, in turn, may exacerbate symptoms of depression, but experts in a U.K. study that depressive disorders without insomnia or other sleep disorders are increasingly rare.
Can Depression Be Prevented
Even if you are more vulnerable to depression, there is plenty you can do to keep symptoms away.
Some proven strategies to help you stay well include:
- avoiding harmful levels of alcohol and other substance use
- improving your sleep
- reducing anxiety, such as through relaxation techniques
- staying active
- staying sociable, so you avoid becoming isolated
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Eye Problems Or Decreasing Vision
Do you find that the world looks blurry? While depression may cause the world to look grey and bleak, one 2010 research study in Germany suggests that this mental health concern may actually affect ones eyesight.
In that study of 80 people, depressed individuals had difficulty seeing differences in black and white. Known by researchers as contrast perception, this might explain why depression can make the world look hazy.
Information For Family Carers And Friends
You can get support if you are a carer, friend or family member of someone living with depression.
Being a carer might mean you can claim certain benefits that might help you and the person you care for. For more information, please see the Mental Health and Money Advice services website:www.mentalhealthandmoneyadvice.org/en/welfare-benefits/what-benefits-are-available-for-mental-health-carers/
You could also get in touch with carer support groups or sibling support groups. You can search for local groups in your area online or ask your GP.
You can ask your local authority for a carers assessment if you need more practical support to help care for someone.
As a carer you should be involved in decisions about care planning. There are rules about information sharing and confidentiality which may make it difficult for you to get all the information you need in some circumstances.
You can find out more information about:
How can I support the person that I care for?
You might find it easier to support someone with depression if you understand their symptoms, treatment and self-management skills. You can use this to support them to get help and stay well.
Below are some initial suggestions for providing practical day to day support to someone with depression.
You can find out more information about:
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Low On Energy It May Not Be Depression
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Depression is a common cause of fatigue, so you might be wondering whether your fatigue is a result of depression. But just because you’re tired all the time doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re depressed.
The fact is there are many underlying conditions that could be responsible for feeling tired all the time. From mood disorders to issues affecting your physical health like chronic fatigue syndrome, the following psychiatric and medical conditions are some of the most common ailments associated with fatigue.
But first, it’s important to note that many of these conditions share symptoms similar to depression, so we’ll start there. By understanding the distinctions between depression and other factors that cause fatigue, you can seek out the right treatment and start to feel like your energetic self again.
What Is Sleep Talking
Sleep talking is actually a sleep disorder known as somniloquy. Doctors dont know a lot about sleep talking, like why it happens or what occurs in the brain when a person sleep talks. The sleep talker isnt aware that theyre talking and wont remember it the next day.
If youre a sleep talker, you may talk in full sentences, speak gibberish, or talk in a voice or language different from what youd use while awake. Sleep talking appears to be harmless.
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Physiological Findings In Depression
As well as the distressing symptoms of sleep disturbance experienced by patients, changes in objective sleep architecture arc well-documented in depression. Compared with normal controls, sleep continuity of depressed subjects is often impaired, with increased wakefulness , and reduced sleep efficiency. Sleep onset latency is significantly increased and total sleep time reduced. Rapid eye movement latency is often shortened, and the duration of the first REM period is increased . The number of eye movements in REM is also increased.
Hypnograms from a normal subject and a depressed patient . The depressed patient has a shortened REM sleep latency, very little slow-wave sleep, particularly in the first sleep cycle, more awakening, and a long period of waking at about 0430.
Another anomaly seen in depressed patients is that the normal pattern of SWA decreasing from the first to the last NREM episode is disrupted, with less of a decrease in SWA occurring from the first to the second episode in depressed patients, . This is sometimes expressed as a lower delta sleep ratio that is the quotient of SWA in the first to the second non-RRM period of sleep.
Evolution of slow-wave activity over the night in a normal subject and a depressed patient . In the normal subject the amount of slow-wave activity is high in the first nonREM period, then diminishes over the night. In the depressed patient, the highest activity is in the second non-REM period.
Differentiating Treatment For Insomnia And Depression In Chronic Pain
As noted, one symptom of depression is insomnia. However, that does not mean that insomnia is a secondary symptom of depression in patients with chronic pain. Insomnia can occur without major depression in patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain.8 Patients with chronic pain and concurrent major depression and insomnia report the highest levels of pain-related impairment, but insomnia in the absence of major depression is also associated with increased pain and distress, noted Wilson et al.8 In a chronic musculoskeletal disorder population, patients classified as having moderate and severe clinical insomnia do not always score high on depression measures.9 These findings further support the notion that insomnia is not a secondary symptom of depression. Thus, it is imperative to differentiate the treatment of insomnia from that of depression treatment for patients with chronic pain.
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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.
Journal About Your Worries
If your worries or repetitive negative thoughts arent going away with relaxation strategies, find a notebook and write down the troubling thoughts. This contains the thoughts that might keep you awake as your brain goes over them again and again.
You might even designate a bit of time before bedtime as your designated worry time, so you can really clear your mind.
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Dont Let Depression Or Insomnia Rule Your Life
There is hope when it comes to treating and overcoming both depression and insomnia. Whether youre struggling most with feelings of sadness and frustration or, instead, extreme exhaustion and irritability caused by insomnia, help is available. The first step is recognizing and being honest about your symptoms. Once you get over this hurdle, you can start on the road to recovery.
At Somnus Therapy, were dedicated to giving you your life back. Through a mix of therapies, activities, and resources, we help treat sleep disorders and insomnia from the comfort of your home. This online program is perfect for those dealing with insomnia caused by depression or those who fear their depression is creating a sleep disturbance.
Find out more about how Somnus Therapy works by and always be sure to seek professional help if your depression symptoms worsen or you experience thoughts of hurting yourself or others.
Sleep Therapy At Home
Our guided insomnia treatment program has helped over 2,000 users sleep better, faster & longer all from the comfort of their own home.
How Are Depression And Insomnia Related
Medically Reviewed By: Tonia Cassaday
Both depression and insomnia are common disorders that cause people some disturbance worldwide. When dealing with either of these issues, the person can have difficulty maintaining a good quality of life. Scientists estimate that 40% of Americans will struggle with insomnia at one point in their life, while an estimated 17.3 million U.S. adults will deal with the symptoms of a major depression episode at least once per year. Depression and insomnia are often linked as interrelated disorders, and they are often related in a variety of ways. In fact, some scientists have gone so far as to suggest that medical practitioners should be wary of diagnosing depression without evidence of sleep complaints by the individual. So, how are depression and insomnia related?
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Why Is Sleep So Important
Normal sleep is a restorative state. However, when sleep is disrupted or inadequate, it can lead to increased tension, vigilance, and irritability.
Physical or emotional trauma and metabolic or other medical problems can trigger sleep disturbances. Poor sleep can lead to fatigue. With fatigue, you exercise less and that leads to a decline in your fitness level. Eventually, you find yourself in a vicious cycle of inactivity and disturbed sleep, which causes both physical and mood-related symptoms.
Coping With Sleep Disturbances During Depression
Dealing with sleep disturbances when youre feeling depressed can seem like a vicious circle. The more depressed you feel, the harder it is to sleep. And the more exhausted you feel, the harder it is to fight depression.
It can feel like theres no way to break the cycle. And its frustrating to feel tired yet be unable to fall or stay asleep. Here’s what you should know about the relationship between sleep disturbances and depression.
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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.
Stomach Pain Or Uneasiness In The Abdomen
That sinking feeling in your stomach is one of the most recognizable signs of depression. However, when your abdomen starts to cramp, its easy to write it off as gas or menstrual pain.
Pain that worsens, especially when stress arises, may be a sign of depression. In fact, Harvard Medical School researchers suggest that stomach discomfort like cramps, bloating, and nausea may be a sign of poor mental health.
Whats the link? According to those Harvard researchers, depression can cause an inflamed digestive system, with pain thats easily mistaken for illnesses like inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome.
Doctors and scientists sometimes refer to the gut as the second brain, because they have found a connection between gut health and mental well-being. Our stomachs are full of good bacteria and if theres an imbalance of good bacteria, symptoms of anxiety and depression may arise.
Eating a balanced diet and taking probiotics can improve ones gut health, which may enhance mood, too, but further research is needed.
Digestive problems, like constipation and diarrhea can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. Often caused by food poisoning or gastrointestinal viruses, its easy to assume that gut discomfort stems from a physical illness.
But emotions like sadness, anxiety, and overwhelm can disrupt our digestive tracks. One 2011
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Get Advice From The Verywell Mind Podcast
Hosted by Editor-in-Chief and therapist Amy Morin, LCSW, this episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast shares what it means to have ‘existential depression,’ featuring Melissa & Doug’s co-founder Melissa Bernstein.
Symptoms of depression can occur along a spectrum both in duration and severity. Mild depression can occur during periods of stress but resolve with time and may not require any specific treatment. Moderate to severe depression causes chronic symptoms and usually requires at least one form of treatment, if not multiple treatments.
Generally speaking, severe depression requires some type of treatment to find some relief. Additionally, depression severity can change over time, growing increasingly worse or alternating between mild and severe during the same depressive episode.
If someone has severe depression, they may self-harm, have suicidal thoughts, or be at risk for attempting suicide. If you are severely depressed, help is available to help you manage your symptoms and ensure your safety and well-being.
Depression And Insomnia Should Be Treated Individually
A common belief that insomnia is a secondary symptom of depression when they co-occur is not supported by scientific evidence, and doctors should direct targeted diagnostic and treatment attention to both disorders, according to a narrative review published by the Medical Journal of Australia.
Up to 90% of patients with mood disorders also report difficulties initiating and/or maintaining sleep, and about 2050% of patients with insomnia disorder report symptoms of depression, say the authors of the review, led by Dr. Alexander Sweetman, a Research Associate at the Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health at Flinders University.
The co-occurrence of depression and insomnia is associated with reduced quality of life, greater overall morbidity, and increased health care use, compared with either depression or insomnia alone, Dr. Sweetman and colleagues write.
Therefore, it is critical to consider diagnostic and management approaches for patients with co-occurring depression and insomnia to improve patient outcomes and reduce health care costs.
Depression is commonly conceptualized as the primary disorder, and the insomnia as a secondary symptom. This is evidenced by clinicians prioritizing the management of depression over insomnia, and an expectation that insomnia symptoms will abate when depression is successfully managed.
The evidence suggests, however, that insomnia and depression should be treated as separate disorders, and the authors detailed six areas of evidence:
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Depression And Sleep: Understanding The Connection
Depression and sleep problems are closely linked. People with, for example, may have a tenfold higher risk of developing depression thanpeople who get a good nights sleep. And among people with depression, 75percent have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.
Which comes first? Either one can be the starting point, says Johns Hopkins sleep researcher Patrick H. Finan, Ph.D. Poor sleep may create difficulties regulating emotions that, in turn, may leave you more vulnerable to depression in the futuremonths or even years from now. And depression itself is associated with sleep difficulties such as shortening the amount of restorative slow-wave sleep a person gets each night.
If you have , daily stressessuch as financial worries, an argument with your spouse, or a jam-packed evening commutecould also lead to more nighttime wake-ups and more trouble getting back to sleep than someone without depression would experience.
Understanding the relationship between insomnia and depression can help you spot risks early, get the right help, and recover more fully if you are experiencing both. Youll feel healthy, well-rested, and able to enjoy life again. Heres what you need to know about depression and sleep:
Depression And Dreams: How Mental Health Affects Your Dreams
From the outlandish claims of Sigmund Freud to modern-day dream interpretation, dreams have long been a mystery to many.
Some people tend to have scarier dreams. Others have dreams that simply dont make sense. Still, other people have lucid dreams that they can control. Everybody is unique, but is there a connection between your dreams and your mental health?
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