It has been found that a lack of sleep or insomnia can cause depression, stress and anxiety. The main reason for this is that people who cannot sleep well have a problem in fighting negative thoughts and this makes them depressed. A large number of people in the U.S have the problem of insomnia and this affects women more than men. People find sleeping to be difficult as the age increases and this is an issue in the elderly population. Every person needs 7-9 hours of sleep and Americans tend to sleep less than this. It is important to understand how insomnia increases the risk of depression. Following are some tips for fighting depression caused by insomnia.
How Insomnia Causes Depression
Our body repairs and restores itself during a state of normal sleep. When a person does not get sufficient sleep, there is a lot of tension in the body and mind. A person becomes irritable and there is an increased vigilance. This leads to depression.
Inability To Disconnect From Negative Emotions
When we sleep well, we are able to get rid of negative emotions and thoughts that occur to our mind. On the contrary, a lack of sleep does not allow us to disconnect ourselves from our negative emotions and this makes us depressed.
Due to insomnia, a person does not get enough rest and there is tiredness in the body with fatigue. The capacity to do exercise becomes less and it reduces the fitness levels. It increases the inactivity and along with a lack of sleep, mood problems occur and it increases the depression.
Loss Of Pleasure
People who get a proper sleep are able to feel pleasure, joy, and happiness in their life. On the other hand, one can feel lack of pleasure and unhappiness when we don’t get a good sleep. The unhappy feelings and loss of pleasure make a person very depressed.
Depression and Lack of Sleep Symptoms
Depression and lack of sleep symptoms are as follows.
- Feeling hopeless and helpless
- Feeling unhappy, sad, lack of pleasure
- Losing interest in activities that caused pleasure earlier
- Inability to concentrate
- Lack of energy, forgetfulness
- Weight gain, weight loss
- Loss of appetite or eating more
- Sleeping during the day
Treatment Of Depression
Treatment for depression includes taking medicines prescribed by a doctor and psychotherapy. The doctor treats the people who suffer from depression with a proper therapy. Cognitive behavioural therapy or CBT is also given to the patient. The thoughts that cause depression are restructured with the help of this therapy. The CBT helps in fighting both depression and insomnia.
Coping Strategies For Insomnia
People who have depression due to insomnia can use the following coping strategies to fight the problem of lack of sleep.
- Maintain a regular sleeping and waking routine by going to sleep at the same time every night and waking up in the morning at the same time every day.
- Get some sunlight exposure after getting up in the morning. Expose yourself to bright light in the morning.
- Do regular exercise by doing workout daily.
- People who cannot sleep in the night should avoid sleeping in the afternoon hours.
- Take foods and drinks with caffeine in limited amounts.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Get support from family members and friends to fight depression. Avoid being alone in the struggle against depression.
- Do meditation and play soft music.
- Read a book at night before going to the bed.
- Avoid using devices like laptop and television before sleeping at night as such devices emit bright light that interferes with sleep.