Health & Medical Mental Health

Can Lack of Sleep Cause Depression?

Can lack of sleep cause depression? Sleep deprivation and depression are not mutually exclusive but in my experience they are related to each other. I have dealt with depression and transient insomnia for years now and while I can say that my depression is not caused by a lack of sleep it is definitely made more difficult to get through and often times so much worse. However, insomnia or just a general lack of sleep can stem from depression and in my case it does.

Depression can lead to many sleepless nights due to anxiety about your problems or just over thinking past memories of what you could've changed about your life to make things better. This has been the main root of my insomnia, the almost obsessive way I turn things over in my head each night while lying in bed. Depression can also cause you to wake up throughout the night or not be able to fall back asleep once you are awake.

A proper night's rest is imperative for proper functioning throughout the day and to be able to think clearly and problem solve. When you are being sleep deprived due to depression your thoughts become even foggier then the depression will already have them and you fall deeper into this dark and disturbing type of thinking. When I was at the stage of my depression where I hardly slept at all and could be up for two days straight without sleep that is also when I was the most irrational and saw everything in life as hopeless.

So yes in a way lack of sleep can cause depression, not as a root cause mind you but as an intensifier or a trigger for your depression once sleep deprivation begins to occur. My best advice is to study books on sleeping better and try to break the negative thought patterns that induce insomnia and sleeplessness. Constructive thinking techniques can be used in order to change your negative thought patterns into positive ones or just to simply clear your head so that you can finally get some sleep. The insomnia and terrible sleeping patterns have been one of the biggest obstacles to overcoming my own depression so I know how hard it can be to break the cycle. I have often slipped back into poor sleeping patterns and had to work extra hard to stave off my depressed moods and increased levels of anxiety about my life problems. If you too are dealing with depression do not underestimate how much of an effect sleep deprivation can have on it.

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