Depression and sleep


What does my level of happiness have to do with sleep, you ask? Relatively little, we respond, when it’s at a comfortable or moderately heightened level. When happiness is largely or entirely absent, however, it can become a very important negative factor on the duration and quality of your sleep.

Depression is one of the leading causes of sleep disturbance.

To quote the NIH:

There is a very strong association between sleep disturbance and major depression. The link between the two is so fundamental that some researchers have suggested that a diagnosis of depression in the absence of sleep complaints should be made with caution.

Sleep disturbance is one of the key symptoms of the disease, may be the reason that depressed patients first seek help, and is one of the few proven risk factors for suicide.

If sleep problems remain after other symptoms are ameliorated, there is a significantly increased risk of relapse and recurrence. Another aspect of the association is the remarkable, if paradoxical, temporary improvement in mood seen after total sleep deprivation in a high proportion of depressed patients.

Based on our own experiences with both depression and sleep deprivation, depression can be seen as both a cause and a symptom. When sleep disturbances become chronic, it can become very difficult to recover from a bout of depression. Similarly, an onset of disturbed sleep may well be a sign that you are entering a depressive episode.

We strongly recommend seeking professional help as early as possible when depression rears its ugly head.

Using Sleep Log Pro or Sleep Log Free regularly (by which we mean: every single day), you can train your mind to sleep more regularly even when suffering from depression.

In particular, aiming for a higher sleep efficiency (above 80% or higher) will help you limit the time you spend in bed, which will both provide you with a more consistent and higher quality of sleep and improve your levels of activity, all of which can help significantly with depression. CBT-I methods can be very effective at reversing the negative cycles associated with depression.