Is Insomnia a Symptom of Depression?
Is there a link between your mood or feelings and how you sleep? The answer is “yes.” That is unlikely to come as a surprise to you.
The next question you may ask is “what can I do about it?”
Relationship Between Depression and Insomnia
Depressive symptoms: Goodpath's internal data shows that 79% of our sleep assessment respondents also have symptoms of depression and/or anxiety.
Diagnosis of depression: Trouble sleeping is also a common symptom when someone is diagnosed with clinical depression.
If you’re able to sleep better, it may help with depression and other mental disorders. Likewise, treatment for mental disorders, including depression, may lessen or even resolve your sleep problems.
What Is Depression?
There are also other types of depression with some of the same symptoms but also with differences. For example, postpartum depression is associated with childbirth, and persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia) is long-term but less severe than clinical depression.
What Are The Symptoms Of Depression?
Little interest or pleasure in doing things.
Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless.
Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, or sleeping too much.
Feeling tired or having little energy.
Poor appetite or overeating.
Feeling bad about yourself, that you’re a failure, or you’ve let yourself or your family down.
Trouble concentrating on things like watching television or reading.
Moving or speaking so slowly that others notice, or restlessness and moving around a lot.
These symptoms occur at least several days over a two-week period.
How Common Is Depression?
What Is The Treatment For Depression?
Talk therapy or psychotherapy (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT).
Lifestyle changes (e.g., increasing physical activity).
Complementary therapies (e.g., relaxation/meditation, supplements).
One or more prescription medicines.
It is not uncommon to use more than one type of treatment. For example, a person may establish a regular exercise routine, start seeing a therapist, and begin taking antidepressant medicine.
Related Article: The therapist's role in mental health treatment
Which Prescriptions Are Used To Treat Depression?
Antidepressant for sleep?
Choosing an antidepressant is often a trial-and-error process. There isn’t a "best antidepressant"; one may work well and have few side effects for someone else, but may not be effective and cause side effects for you. Likewise, there isn’t a "best antidepressant" for sleep and depression. At times, a low dose of certain antidepressant medicines (e.g. doxepin and trazodone) may be prescribed for the treatment of insomnia.
The prescription medicines most often used to treat depression are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
Some common SSRIs are fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), citalopram (Celexa), and escitalopram (Lexapro).
Some common SNRIs are venlafaxine (Effexor XR), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), and duloxetine (Cymbalta).
Another antidepressant that is often used is bupropion (Wellbutrin).
Each person responds differently to antidepressants
The journey for each person is unique:
It often takes weeks to feel the full effects.
Your doctor may start you at a low dose and slowly increase it.
It may be necessary to try different antidepressants to find the one that works best with the fewest side effects.
Antidepressants may be prescribed in combination with each other or other medicines and supplements to help treat depression.
Is Treatment Follow-Up Needed?
The acute phase lasts at least 6 to 12 weeks. The goal is to achieve remission, reducing or stopping symptoms.
The continuation phase is about 4 to 9 months. The goal is to prevent symptoms from recurring.
The maintenance phase is a year or more. The goal is to protect against depression relapse.
Your healthcare provider may suggest a plan to slowly taper antidepressant medicine, with careful monitoring for worsening symptoms.
Related Article: Depression After Cancer
Should I Contact My Doctor?
Participating in Goodpath’s sleep program can help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and improve your overall sleep quality. Improving your sleep can also help with depression.
Our program addresses sleep disturbances (for example, short-term trouble sleeping) and sleep disorders (for example chronic insomnia) without the use of sleeping pills. It includes cognitive behavioral therapy specific to insomnia (CBT-I), mind-body techniques, supplements, and nutritional support.
The first step is our 5-minute assessment, which allows us to look at your specific symptoms and needs. Start your free assessment today.