Why you should know how anxiety and sleep are related
Sleep issues and depression go hand in hand. For instance, those who experience insomnia may be ten times more likely to develop depression than those who obtain a decent night’s sleep. And 75% of those who suffer from depression have problems sleeping or staying asleep.
What happens first? According to Patrick H. Finan, Ph.D., a sleep researcher at Johns Hopkins, “Any one could serve as the beginning point.” Poor sleep may make it harder for you to control your emotions, which could make you more susceptible to depression months or even years from now. Additionally, sadness itself is linked to sleep issues, including reduced amounts of restorative slow-wave sleep each night.
Regular concerns like low income, a fight with your spouse, or a hectic evening commute may make it harder for you to go asleep and stay asleep if you have depression than they would be for someone without it.
If you are suffering from both insomnia and depression, knowing how they are related might help you identify risks earlier, seek the correct care, and recover more fully. You’ll regain your energy, feel relaxed, and be able to enjoy life once more. What you should know about sleep and depression is as follows:
Consider your sleep issues carefully.
If any of the following apply to you:
- Difficulty sleeping or falling asleep
- Feel exhausted during the day
- Feel exhausted during the day
Treatments like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for insomnia and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines for apnea can help you get back to a decent night’s sleep, preventing disorders like depression that are associated to poor sleep. (Depression risk is five times higher in people with sleep apnea.)
Keep an eye out for depressive symptoms.
These include feeling depressed, hopeless, or unhappy; having difficulties focusing or remembering things; losing your energy; feeling sleepy during the day; losing interest in once-enjoyable activities; or having suicidal or fatal thoughts. If you experience any of these, tell your doctor. (If you are contemplating suicide, call 911.)
This is crucial if you’re talking to your doctor about your insomnia. Finan argues that insomnia “may be a separate disorder or it may be a marker of depression.” To treat the appropriate issue, “your doctor has to know as much as feasible.”
Receive sleep and depression support.
Don’t assume that getting therapy for one would instantly make the other go away if you have both insomnia and sadness. Selected serotonin reuptake inhibitors and other antidepressants are treatments for depression that may enhance your mood and outlook, but they might not be sufficient to enhance your sleep.
There is some evidence to suggest that patients receiving therapy for depression are more likely to experience lasting sleep issues. The good news is that CBT-I (cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia), when used in conjunction with depression medication, appears to enhance sleep in depressed individuals and may even raise the likelihood that a depressive episode will eventually go away.
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