Depression and Sleep
sleep disorders, there is a risk of misdiagnosis. For example, depressed mood can be a sign of insomnia, OSA or narcolepsy. Restless legs syndrome (RLS), a neurological condition that causes discomfort in the legs and sleep problems, is also associated with depression. According to the Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation , approximately 40% of people with RLS complain of symptoms that would indicate depression if assessed without consideration of a sleep disorder.
Many children and adolescents with depression suffer from sleep problems such as insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleepiness) or both. According to recent research , children with depression who suffer from both insomnia and hypersomnia are more likely to have severe and longer-lasting depression. They are also more likely to suffer from weight loss, impaired movement, and anhedonia (an inability to feel pleasure). Additionally, NSF's 2006 Sleep in America poll, which focused on children aged 11 to 17, found a strong association between negative mood and sleep problems. Among adolescents who reported being unhappy, 73% reported not sleeping enough at night.
Depression affects all types of people from all over the world, but certain people are more likely than others to develop depression, including women and older adults. Among older adults, higher rates of depression and sleep problems may be explained in part by higher rates of physical illness. Among women, motherhood and hormonal changes throughout the life cycle (menstruation, menopause) may contribute to higher rates of depression. Among women and older adults, higher rates of depression may also be explained by higher rates of insomnia in these groups.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as "winter depression," is one type of depression. SAD is believed to be influenced by the changing patterns of light and darkness that occur with the approach of winter. Circadian rhythms are regulated by the body's internal clock and by exposure to sunshine. When the days get shorter in autumn, circadian rhythms may become desynchronized and trigger depression. For most people with SAD, depressive symptoms resolve in springtime with increasing hours of daylight. when the days lengthen out.
Living with depression can be extremely