Sleep And Depression | Sleep Disorder And Depression

Sleep And Depression

Depression is a mood disorder that is characterized by unhappiness, or "having the blues." People with depression can have many types of sleep problems.

The Symptoms Of Depression Include The Following:

  • Lack of energy
  • An increase or decrease in the need for sleep.
  • Changes in appetite that leads to changes in weight.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or attempting suicide.
  • Feeling extremely sad, anxious, irritable or "empty".
  • Difficulty concentrating, thinking or making decisions
  • Loss of enjoyment from things that were once pleasurable

One of the main signs of depression is inability to sleep, or insomnia. Lack of sleep alone cannot cause depression, but it does play a role. Depression can be even worse if the lack of sleep caused by medical illness or by personal problems.

An inability to sleep that lasts over a long period of time is also an important sign that someone may be depressed. Depression is a disorder that affects your feelings, behavior, moods, thoughts and physical health. Sometimes, depression is triggered by stressful life incidents.

Other times depression seems to occur spontaneously with no identifiable specific cause. Whatever the cause, depression is much more than grieving or an attack of the blues.

The Pattern Of Sleep In Depression

The sleep pattern of somebody with depression is very different:

  • The total sleep time is reduced.
  • There is little or no deep sleep.
  • It takes much longer to get off to sleep.
  • REM sleep occurs earlier in the night.
  • There are more frequent awakenings during the night, which may last long enough for the person to be aware of them.
  • The person wakes up earlier in the morning.

Causes Of Depression

There are several causes of depression, including:

  • Stress
  • Poor diet
  • Medications
  • Family history
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Environmental conditions
  • Physical and mental health disorders

People who are depressed may also have chemical imbalances in their brains.

Diagnosis For Depression

Your doctor will take your medical history, including whether anyone in your family has depression or other mental health problems. You are asked to describe your moods, if you feel under stress, your appetite and energy, and if you have ever thought about suicide.

Your doctor will also carry out a physical examination to determine if the cause of your depression is physical

Depression Treatments:

Depending upon the severity of the illness, the choices of treatment are made. Psychotherapy, medications, or a combination of these two are the major depressive disorder treatments.


Medications are available that are generally safe and effective, even for the most severe depression. With proper treatment, most people with serious depression progress, often within weeks, and can return to normal daily activities .

Combination Of Psychotherapy And Medication

The most effective treatment for depression is a combination of psychotherapy and medication. Medication tends to work more rapidly to decrease symptoms while psychotherapy helps people to learn coping strategies to prevent the onset of future depressive symptoms.

The most effective types of psychotherapy for depression are cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy.

Interpersonal therapy

Interpersonal therapy helps people to understand how relationship problems, losses, or changes affect feelings of depression. This therapy involves working to develop relationships with others or building new relationships.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

With cognitive-behavioral therapy, patients study to change negative thinking patterns that are related to feelings of depression.

Self Care To Avoid Depression:

  • Learn relaxation techniques and deep breathing techniques.
  • Don’t use caffeine, alcohol, or nicotine in the evening.
  • Get regular exercise 3 to 4 hours before going to bed.
  • Write a list of activities that need to be completed the next day and tell yourself you’ll think about it tomorrow.
  • 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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