Mental Health

Understanding The Relationship Between Sleep And Depression

Understanding The Relationship Between Sleep And Depression

What is the link between sleep and depression?

A sleep disorders is one of the key signs of clinical depression. While some people suffering from depression sleep too much, others are not able to sleep at all. A sleep disorder does not necessarily cause depression, but the lack of rest and sleep does play a role.

How depression affects sleep: When the person turns off the lights, lie down and try to sleep, he is actually preparing himself to face the next day challenges and regain the lost energy. However, a depressed person often finds it difficult to go to sleep or stay asleep. This is how depression affects sleep.

How lack of sleep leads to depression:  People having normal sleep are in a restorative state. However, when sleep is inadequate or disrupted, it can lead to increased stress and irritability. Poor sleep leads to fatigue and affects your both physical and mental balance. This, in turn, causes physical symptoms and mood-related symptoms like depression and anxiety.

Obstructive sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder in which a person wakes frequently and very briefly throughout the night, is also linked to depression. In a study of nearly 19,000 people, it was found that those with OSA were five times as likely to suffer from clinical depression. According to researchers, this happens because when sleep is disrupted over and over, it alters brain activity and neurochemicals that affect a person's mood and thinking.

Circadian Rhythms and Depression

Circadian rhythm is body’s internal 24-hour clock that causes you feel active during day and sleepier at night. This natural sleep-wake cycle of the body regulates everything from body temperature to heart rate. It also puts a greater impact on our cognition, energy, alertness, and mood. These daily rhythms keep you in good health and help you maintain a stable mood.

When these rhythms are disrupted, they put a negative effect on our physical and emotional well-being. It makes us feel tired and irritable, which in turn leads us to the state of being depressed.

What is Morning Depression?

Morning depression is one of the core symptoms of the major depressive disorder and this is mainly caused by disrupted circadian rhythms. People with morning depression describe this condition as an extreme sadness, anger, frustration, lack of desire starting the day, unexplained unhappiness, a lack of motivation, heaviness and a desire to sleep more.

People suffering from morning depression often experience severe feelings for melancholia, a characteristic associated with the major depressive disorder.

Symptoms of Morning Depression

Some of the common symptoms of morning depression are:

  • Difficulty waking up and getting out of bed
  • An extreme lack of energy and desire starting the day
  • Difficulty doing simple tasks, such as making coffee or bathing
  • Lack of physical and cognitive abilities
  • Lack of concentration and ability to take decisions
  • Extreme agitation or frustration
  • Restlessness and feelings of emptiness
  • Lack of interest in pleasurable activities
  • changes in appetite
  • Sleeping longer than normal or hypersomnia

The Bottom Line

Your sleeping habits can greatly affect your mental health and vice versa. So, if you have trouble sleeping for a long time, visit your doctor or therapist to keep the symptoms under control.