What is the relationship between sleep & depression?
As a human, we all have experienced emotional fluctuations. We tend to feel sad, hopeless, happy, hopeful and various other emotions according to our surroundings and situations. Although as normal as it may seem, persistent feeling of sadness, anxiety and irritability is a sign of clinical depression.
Over the years of research, it is stated that Depression and sleep have common biological roots and they are strongly associated. Depression may disturb your sleep or sleep deprivation may contribute to depression, either way, the linkage is unavoidable. Depressed individuals often show signs of a range of insomnia issues like difficulty in falling asleep (sleep-onset insomnia), difficulty staying asleep (sleep maintenance insomnia), unrefreshing sleep, and daytime sleepiness. An inability to fall asleep or excessive drowsiness are both results of depression.
Depression not only affects the mentality of a person but also show physical disturbances and is associated with other chronic health issues such as heart disease. Symptoms of depression may not be very prominent at first, but it grows on a person. Hence, is it advised to seek medical health as soon as noticeable differences in one’s mood start showing up. Depressions are of various forms and exhibit different yet similar symptoms.
Symptoms may vary from person to person and show different symptoms depending on the stages of the depression.
- Constant feeling of hopelessness, sadness- these feelings tend to grow as time passes and does not show any improvements
- Daytime drowsiness
- Insomnia- Person in depression may find it extremely difficult to fall asleep due to repetitive thoughts and emotions running through their mind.
- A drastic change in weight and appetite- A person may overeat or not eat at all. Depression hampers one’s appetite which eventually leads to weight loss or weight gain.
Depression may be accompanied by low self-esteem, anxiety, and various physical problems like back-ache and gastrointestinal problems. The most prominent and common symptoms of depression are insomnia and/or daytime sleepiness.
Causes of depression, just like symptoms, may vary from person to person. Few of the main causes are mentioned below:
Treatment for depression involves a consolidation of pharmaceutical drugs and/ or psychotherapy. Each of these therapies may be used to treat both depression and insomnia and treatment for sleep problems is often an integral part of depression therapy. A doctor may prescribe antidepressants to improve your condition. While a psychiatrist may talk you out of depression and may provide the necessary help.
Besides these precautions, it is also essential to get comfortable while sleeping and a quality mattress will aid sleep and better your condition.
Depression can be exhausting and hence it is advised to seek help as soon as it is diagnosed. In addition to the treatment, a few tips can accelerate your treatment
-Regularize your sleep-wake cycle
-Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake