Tip : Challenge Negative Thinking
Do you feel like youre powerless or weak? That bad things happen and theres not much you can do about it? That your situation is hopeless? Depression puts a negative spin on everything, including the way you see yourself and your expectations for the future.
When these types of thoughts overwhelm you, its important to remember that this is a symptom of your depression and these irrational, pessimistic attitudesknown as cognitive distortionsarent realistic. When you really examine them they dont hold up. But even so, they can be tough to give up. You cant break out of this pessimistic mind frame by telling yourself to just think positive. Often, its part of a lifelong pattern of thinking thats become so automatic youre not even completely aware of it. Rather, the trick is to identify the type of negative thoughts that are fueling your depression, and replace them with a more balanced way of thinking.
When To See A Professional
Most people oversleep on occasion, especially after a few late nights or intense physical activity. If you usually dont have any problems getting up in the morning, you probably dont need to worry about sleeping too long once in a while.
But, if you notice more frequent oversleeping, it may be time to talk with a healthcare professional. Only medical and mental health professionals can diagnose sleep disorders and mental health conditions.
Getting an expert opinion becomes even more important when:
- symptoms of depression persist for longer than 1 to 2 weeks
- you dont feel rested after any amount of sleep
- you cant stay awake during the day
- your regular activities no longer interest you
- changes in mood begin to affect your daily life or relationships
If you need help now
If you need someone to talk with in a moment of distress, trained, compassionate crisis counselors can listen and offer support with finding helpful ways to cope. Here are a few options:
Since depression and sleep disorder symptoms can overlap, make sure to tell a professional about all of your symptoms.
What’s The Relationship Between Sleep And Depression
People experiencing depression may have sleep difficulties, including not sleeping enough to sleeping excessively, according to the NIMH. They can also wake up much earlier than they intended to . These issues are linked to depression through hormones and the nervous system.
According to a March 2015 study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology, there are several hormones that play a role in being asleep and awake. Those hormones include:
- Growth hormones
- Ghrelin and leptin
Melatonin and cortisol help regulate your circadian rhythm as they work opposite of one another. If they are out of balance, sleep issues can occur. Additionally, increased TSH or ghrelin levels and decreased growth hormone or leptin levels can all lead to sleeplessness and vice versa.
The nervous system contains neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers that send signals between neurons . Certain neurotransmitters are responsible for regulating periods of wakefulness and sleep, according to a January 2022 study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry. The researchers found that neurotransmitter system abnormalities can result in both sleep-wake rhythm disorders and the development of depression.
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When You Don’t Sleep Enough
If you have depression and are having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, you may likely be dealing with insomnia. Symptoms may entail being awake for long periods of time before you can fall asleep or being awake for the majority of the night, sleeping in short bursts, waking up long before you plan to do so, and feeling as if you actually didn’t get sleep, according to MedlinePlus.
Insomnia can be a risk factor for depression, according to a March 2020 study published in The American Journal of Managed Care. “nsomnia strongly predicts the occurrence of depression. About 90% of patients with major depressive disorder report difficulty sleeping,” the study reported. Further, if you don’t get adequate sleep, you may have problems with concentration and memory or other serious issues.
What Causes Excessive Sleepiness
Any condition that keeps you from getting good quantity and quality sleep at night can cause excessive sleepiness during the day. Daytime sleepiness may be the only symptom you know, but other signs, such as snoring or kicking, may be occurring while youre asleep.
For many people with sleep disorders, its a bed partner who observes other key symptoms. Regardless of the cause, its important to have your sleep condition evaluated if daytime sleepiness is keeping you from making the most of your day.
Among the more common causes of excessive sleepiness are:
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Common Signs And Symptoms Of Depression
Here are some common signs of depression you may experience.
How you might feel
- guilty, worthless and down on yourself
- isolated and unable to relate to other people
- finding no pleasure in life or things you usually enjoy
- a sense of unreality
- avoiding social events and activities you usually enjoy
- self-harming or suicidal behaviour
- difficulty speaking, thinking clearly or making decisions
- losing interest in sex
- difficulty remembering or concentrating on things
- using more tobacco, alcohol or other drugs than usual
- difficulty sleeping, or sleeping too much
- feeling tired all the time
- no appetite and losing weight, or eating too much and gaining weight
- physical aches and pains with no obvious physical cause
- moving very slowly, or being restless and agitated.
“It felt like I was really tired, all the time. I had no energy or emotion about anything.”
How Depression Impacts Daily Life
Living with depression on a day-to-day basis can have a significant impact on quality of life. In addition to the low mood and persistent feelings of sadness, depression can leave the individual feeling unwell. This combination of symptoms will often result in reduced functioning at work and at home.
Sleep disruptions, including sleeping too much or sleeping too little, will wreak havoc with concentration, energy and stamina, memory functions, and appetite, and can further intensify feelings of despair. When depression causes a person to literally not want to get out of bed all day it can cause a domino effect in all other realms. Hypersomnia may even lead to excessive absences at work and declining work performance overall.
Excessive sleeping also has a negative impact on the family dynamic. When mom or dad is holed up in bed the children who are dependent on the parent may not have access to the care they deserve. This places more pressure on the good parent to take up the extra burden, which can have an effect on the relationship. Eventually, the impact of depression will touch all aspects of life.
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Physiological Findings In Depression
As well as the distressing symptoms of sleep disturbance experienced by patients, changes in objective sleep architecture arc well-documented in depression.11 Compared with normal controls, sleep continuity of depressed subjects is often impaired, with increased wakefulness , and reduced sleep efficiency. Sleep onset latency is significantly increased and total sleep time reduced. Rapid eye movement latency is often shortened, and the duration of the first REM period is increased . The number of eye movements in REM is also increased.
Hypnograms from a normal subject and a depressed patient . The depressed patient has a shortened REM sleep latency, very little slow-wave sleep, particularly in the first sleep cycle, more awakening, and a long period of waking at about 0430.
Another anomaly seen in depressed patients is that the normal pattern of SWA decreasing from the first to the last NREM episode is disrupted, with less of a decrease in SWA occurring from the first to the second episode in depressed patients14,15 . This is sometimes expressed as a lower delta sleep ratio that is the quotient of SWA in the first to the second non-RRM period of sleep.
Evolution of slow-wave activity over the night in a normal subject and a depressed patient . In the normal subject the amount of slow-wave activity is high in the first nonREM period, then diminishes over the night. In the depressed patient, the highest activity is in the second non-REM period.
Less Optimistic Than Others
There is a theory that people with depression may display a trait called depressive realism. This means that they may be more accurate in their view of events and the control they have over those events than people without depression.
Being more realistic or pessimistic than others may be one sign of depression, especially if the person has other possible symptoms of depression.
When a person trails off during conversations or loses their train of thought, this can indicate issues with memory and concentration. Such issues are a common symptom of depression.
An older 2014 study suggests that these difficulties with concentration and focus can worsen the social impact of depression by making work life and personal relationships more challenging.
Additionally, a 2018 narrative review notes that cognitive dysfunction is a key aspect of major depressive disorder . This can significantly affect a persons social life, return to work, and workplace productivity.
, more severe depression was associated with more severe sexual dysfunction. This dysfunction included trouble with sexual function, desire, and satisfaction.
There are several reasons why a persons libido might decrease when they have depression. These include:
- loss of interest in pleasurable activities, such as sex
- fatigue and low energy levels
- low self-esteem
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What Are The Effects Of Lack Of Sleep And Depression
Not getting enough restful sleep can affect your emotional health. In other words, a chronic lack of sleep can cause depression. Although it is unlikely that lack of sleep alone can be the sole cause of depression, it combined with other factors can trigger depression in some people. Links between depression and lack of sleep have been commonly found in studies.
Some of the well-established effects of lack of sleep on depression are:
- That people with insomnia have a significantly higher risk of developing depression.
- Other sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome are associated with a higher probability that an individual will suffer from depression. It has also been shown that the treatment of sleep apnea also improves the depression as well.
- Children with depression who experience irregular sleep patterns are more likely to have longer and more severe episodes of depression.
But the good news is that when it comes to treating patients who exhibit symptoms of depression and a chronic lack of sleep, treating one condition can help better treat the other.
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Thoughts Of Death Or Suicide
A person with depression may think more about death and dying. They may also think about suicide and how they could end their life. These thoughts are called suicide ideation.
Sometimes, a person may tell others about these thoughts. If someone is talking about death or suicide, this may be their way of asking for help, and it is vital to seek assistance.
In severe cases of depression, a person may hurt themselves, or self-harm.
Depression is a common but serious condition that can be life threatening. Not every person who thinks about suicide will attempt it. However, if someone mentions suicide, either contact a doctor or help them seek urgent medical care.
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Difficulty Concentrating Remembering And Making Decisions
Depression can interfere with a persons cognitive abilities. They may have trouble focusing or concentrating on personal or professional matters. They may also struggle to make decisions, including small, everyday choices.
People with depression may also find that they cannot remember things as well as they did previously. They may forget appointments or commitments and might not recall things that they said or did recently.
Causes And Risk Factors
While some illnesses have a specific medical cause, making treatment straightforward, depression is far more complicated. Certain medications, such as barbiturates, corticosteroids, benzodiazepines, opioid painkillers, and specific blood pressure medicine can trigger symptoms in some peopleas can hypothyroidism . But most commonly, depression is caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors that can vary wildly from one person to another.
Despite what you may have seen in TV ads, read in newspaper articles, or maybe even heard from a doctor, depression is not just the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain, having too much or too little of any brain chemical that can be simply cured with medication. Biological factors can certainly play a role in depression, including inflammation, hormonal changes, immune system suppression, abnormal activity in certain parts of the brain, nutritional deficiencies, and shrinking brain cells. But psychological and social factorssuch as past trauma, substance abuse, loneliness, low self-esteem, and lifestyle choicescan also play an enormous part.
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How Does Depression Affect Sleep
Depression can affect a number of bodily functions, like decreased appetite and libido loss, and make it more difficult to fall asleep. Sadness, hopelessness, and other feelings that come with depression may take over a persons thoughts as he tries to fall asleep.
How does depression affect sleep? If someone is tired during the day, he or she may want to nap, which can then affect nighttime sleep. Even getting off a regular sleep schedule can affect a persons body. While some people dont sleep enough, depression and sleeping a lot is also common.
Sleeping Too Much From Depression
As you can see, the bidirectional relationship between depression and sleeping too much is well established by research. If you or a loved one is experiencing what can only be described as sleeping all day depression, its important that you take it seriously. Left unaddressed, both depression and a lack of restful sleep can culminate in poor or deteriorating overall declining health.
While many people report insomnia as the primary concern associated with depression, its important to understand that some people experience sleeping too much while depressed. They may find it difficult to get out of bed and while they may sleep a lot of hours, its still not restful or restorative sleep. Discussing strategies with your medical or mental health professional can help with the sleep and depression symptoms.
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Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital Helps Those Living With Depression
At Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital, we specialize in treating depression and other mood disorders. We offer inpatient treatment programs and intensive outpatient treatment programs, too. To get started at our facility, please call us at 755-4907 to speak with one of our intake specialists.
How To Feel Better After Oversleeping
You wake up much later than planned, completely out of sorts. You stare at the clock in disbelief and dismay. What next?
If you already feel miserable, it might seem tempting to write the day off and stay in bed.
Yet, even though getting up might feel like an impossible feat, these strategies can help ease that groggy, late-morning funk.
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A Sign Of Atypical Depression
Dr. Drerup says that oversleeping is a symptom in 15% of people with depression and she notes that it tends to more often be related to atypical depression.
Atypical depression is a specific type of depression in which the persons mood can improve in response to a positive event. But even though their mood may brighten, its only temporary and the root depression remains.
Often, they dont realize theyre depressed, Dr. Drerup adds. Besides oversleeping, other symptoms are increased appetite and interpersonal sensitivity, like the feeling of being rejected. And that depression feeds into other reasons sleep can be so greatly affected.
Residual Insomnia: Relapse And Recurrence
There is much evidence that effective antidepressant treatments can successfully elicit significant response in depression, but is much less evidence that effective treatment fully addresses the problem of sleep disturbance. Persistent insomnia is one of the most common residual symptoms in patients with incomplete remission:40 This presents a problem, given the fact that residual insomnia confers greater risk of subsequent depression: in a study of remitted patients maintained on a selective serotonin reuptake inhibotor and psychotherapy,41 subjective sleep problems and anxiety were each found to be predictors of early recurrence. The origin of these residual symptoms of insomnia is probably multifactorial, reflecting ongoing functional brain abnormalities as well as adverse effects of some drug treatments, for example SSRIs, particularly fluoxetine, can lead to insomnia.
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Incidence Of Sleep Symptoms In Depression
Symptoms of disturbed night-time sleep in people with depression have been described extensively in both clinical and epidemiological studies. In clinical samples, difficulty in initiating or maintaining sleep or both have been reported in about three quarters of all depressed patients.3,4 In epidemiological samples examining insomnia symptoms and depression, sleep symptoms occurred in 50% to 60% in a sample of young adults aged 21 to 30.5 In a UK population sample ,6 the incidence of insomnia symptoms in a wide age range of patients with depression increased with age. Overall, 83% of depressed patients had at least one insomnia symptom, compared with 36% who did not have depression. This varied from 77% in the 16-to-24-year age group to 90% in the 55-to-64-year age group. When the authors looked at the value of sleep symptoms as a screening aid for depression, the proportion of participants with depression who reported symptoms of insomnia sufficient to warrant a diagnosis of insomnia was 41%, and the proportion without depression and without a diagnosis was 96%. This supports the statement mentioned above that diagnosing depression without sleep complaints needs care.