Insomnia and Depression:Is this a Problem?

Insomnia and Depression:Is this a Problem?

Insomnia is a really troublesome experience that affects ten to thirty-five percent of us. Once we start losing sleep, it becomes a psychological and physical battle. If you’re facing such issue, you are not alone. Both depression and insomnia are common complaints. It’s quite concerning that around fifteen percent of adults suffer from chronic insomnia! The percentage of suffering depression is about the same. Insomnia and depression, often, go hand-in-hand.

Numerous researches and clinical experience shows that insomnia is highly related to reducing life quality along with depression. In turn, depression can trigger sleep issues. Insomnia can also lead to anxiety, hopelessness, frustration, inability to concentrate and exhaustion.

It can feel like the myth of Sisyphus, night after night after night pushing a boulder up a hill to roll it down again and again. However, with some help, the weight of the “stone” can be lessened. Let’s find out.

What is the Link between Insomnia and Depression?

Not being able to rest is a key indicator of clinical depression. Oversleeping or over dozing is also another clinical depression symptom. Having a rest issue is not the cause of the sadness; it’s the absence of rest that plays a big part. The lack of rest can also be aggravated by other diseases or individual issues. A failure to rest, keeping it to go over a drawn-out stretch of time is likewise an essential piece of info that discourages almost anyone.

Let’s look at what is depression

Depression can happen at any age, but it often begins in teens and young adults. It is much more common in women. We all feel sad or discouraged sometimes, and usually, we know the reason why this is happening. It might be for different reasons, like having problems at work or family problems, but with time we work through our problems, and our mood gets better. With depression, your feelings are controlling you, and you feel as if you just can’t get over them.

Depression is a serious disorder that can take a terrible toll on you and your family. It will get worse if it is not treated, and can result in emotional, behavioral and health problems that affect every area of your life. Depression affects people in different ways. Women are twice as likely as men to suffer from depression and are more vulnerable after giving birth when hormones and the responsibility of caring for a baby. Many women also suffer from depression before and during their periods. Depression can interfere with your daily activities and normal functioning. It causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to emotional and physical problems.

Signs of depression

Although depression occurs once in your life, some people have multiple episodes. Symptoms include loss of pleasure in daily activities, decreased appetite, weight loss, or increased cravings for food and weight gain, difficulty concentrating, changes in your usual sleep patterns, feeling of sadness, guilt, worthlessness, emptiness or helplessness, angry outburst, frustration, tiredness, lack of energy, anxiety, restlessness and suicidal thoughts or attempts etc. Depression can also contribute to other conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes and can also lead to suicide. Talk to you doctor or a mental health professional as soon as you can, if you are feeling depressed.

There are effective treatments for depression, including medications such as antidepressants, talk therapy, or both, changes in your lifestyle, can be very effective. According to research, Up to eighty percent of those who seek treatment will notice an improvement within a few weeks.

What is Insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that can make it hard for you to fall asleep, stay asleep, or can cause you to wake up early and cannot get back to sleep. You may also feel tired when you wake up. Insomnia can affect your way of life such as your mood, your health, day-to-day activities, and your quality of life. The amount of sleep that is required, varies from person to person, but most adults need seven to eight hours a night.

Insomnia becomes more common as we age. As you get older, you may experience different changes in your sleep patterns. Sleep often becomes less restful as you age. Changes in your health can be a big factor, due to chronic pain from conditions such as arthritis or back problems as well as depression and anxiety. Issues such as prostate or bladder problems will disturb your sleep due to frequent trips to the bathroom during the night. Sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome also become more common with age.

Good sleep habits can prevent insomnia and promote good sleep. Keep your bedtime and waketime constant, stay active,  check your medications to see if these could disturb your sleep, avoid napping during the day, avoid large meals and drinks before bed, take a warm bath, relax and listen to nice music.

Treating Insomnia and Depression

There are a number of available treatments for insomnia. Insomnia can be treated in two very different ways, these are medication or cognitive behavioral therapies. In studies, medications showed good results of shortening the time for the insomniac person to fall asleep. These medications are also helpful in keeping people asleep.

Cognitive behavioral, therapy for insomnia, is also proven to be effective. This therapy aims to encourage healthier behaviors and positive realistic thought process around sleep. This therapy encourages better sleep habits, for example, eliminating any distractions from the bedroom and going to bed at the same time at night. It also helps people by replacing negative thoughts (for example, “I’ll never fall asleep”) with positive and better alternatives (for example, “It’s normal for me to take a while to sleep”).

Other Techniques Can Help With Sleep

In addition to trying medications, here are some effective tips for improving your sleep.

Learn about deep breathing and relaxation methods. Clear your head of concerns for the next day by writing down things you need to complete the next day. Tell yourself that tomorrows thoughts are for tomorrow. Avoid daytime naps. They essentially steal your night time sleeps by creating “sleep debts”. Before bedtime, practice to exercise a few hours earlier.

Before bedtime, try to avoid looking at television or computer screens as the light emission from displays can interfere with the brain chemicals signaling the brain that its time for bed.

Don’t ever drink anything that includes alcohol, nicotine, or caffeine in the evening. Taking a warm shower before going to sleep will help you build a profound resting condition for your body.

Try to keep your room dark with darker shades in the room. If necessary, you can also wear an eye patch for blocking all the lights that are hitting your eyes. Light signals your brain to stay awake where its time to go to sleep, creating a major disturbance.

When you are not feeling comfortable, instead of just bed tossing and turning, go into another room and do something relaxing. When you start feeling that you may be able to go to sleep, get back in bed and relax. (Sweet dreams)!

Use your bed for sleeping and sex activities only. Don’t lie in bed for reading or watching TV. This way, your brain will treat the bed as a stimulation for sleep.

There are a number of options for treating insomnia. Treating insomnia will also help dramatically in treating depression. Not all the methods will work the same. The relationship between sleep and depression is complex, and at times, can be debilitating. In a number of ways, poor sleep and mood disorders have a chicken-or-egg relationship. The above tips should be able to help improve your condition. Insomnia, in a lot of cases, can easily be handled with the help of natural remedies.  Chamomile has the reputation for calming nerves and gently aiding sleep. Typical dosage: 1 to 2 cups of tea before bedtime. (steep 1 teaspoon in one cup of hot water for 10 minutes). Caution: If you are allergic to ragweed, you might also be allergic to chamomile.


If anyone suffers from insomnia, there should be no delay in treatment. If changing lifestyle or everyday routine does not work, its best to consult with a doctor to prevent both insomnia and depression. Best of luck! Please feel free to leave a comment.









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By |2019-04-22T07:37:34+00:00November 13th, 2018|General|4 Comments

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  1. Dany December 13, 2018 at 8:01 am - Reply

    Interesting article. It’s somehow sad that we have to face this issues sometimes. I have a problem when it’s about sleeping. I find it hard to fall asleep, and sometimes I wake up during the night, and it could take 2-3 hours till fall asleep again.

    I’m trying as much as possible to stay away from the computer at least 2 hours before bedtime. Meditation and yoga in the evening help me. But there are times when these tricks are not working.

    I was reading about some calming tea before bedtime, I haven’t tried it, what is your opinion about this?

    • Delores December 14, 2018 at 3:50 am - Reply

      Hi Dany,

      Many people have the same problem, finding it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. Try to clear your thoughts of the things that you do during the day and think of something nice, like being at the beach and listening to the waves. You can think of big ones and small ones, until you are relaxed. 

      You said, Meditation and yoga help. I would try the calming tea before doing these and try listening to relaxing music with a headphone. Try those with calming sounds like water falls or other sounds that you like. These will help you to relax and help you to fall sleep.

      Thanks for reading. Hope these will help and you will be able to fall asleep much easier than before. Have a nice day.

  2. Jerry December 13, 2018 at 8:14 am - Reply

    I had thought a lot in my life about being depressed, but never about insomnia. Although I have been under pressure at various times in my life I was lucky enough to be able to cope with it. I agree with you however, that depression can be a serious condition and should be treated immediately. I wonder whether talking with your family or good friends cannot also help solving the problem?

    From childhood I do not fall asleep very easily and I think it is just something in my system. My wife puts her head down and within minutes is in dreamland! So as you rightly said treat it as something normal. Also from birth I have been a worrier, like my mother, but sometimes lying awake in bed helps solving the issues. My personal trick is to compartmentalize my thoughts and at one point of time saying to myself: now it is enough, I cannot solve it now, tomorrow is another day. And then force myself to think about happy topics. It helps!

    • Delores December 14, 2018 at 3:12 am - Reply

      Hi Jerry,

      I am glad that you have found this helpful. I like your strategies to help you fall asleep. Being happy and thinking of happy topics will put you in a good mood and help you to relax. This will help you to fall asleep much easier. When it comes to sleep, I have no problem, as my head hits the pillow, I am out. Thanks for reading.

      Have a lovely day and all the best to you. 

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