Depression and Sleep

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Sharing this information with your therapist will help guide treatment and the correct diagnosis.

Treating clinical depression may take time. Depression medications often take weeks to take full effect and some individuals may need to try a variety of drugs before finding the one that suits them best. Keep in mind that you should not stop taking a depression medication because your symptoms improve as this may cause symptoms to recur or other ill effects. Always consult your health care provider before making any changes to your depression therapy or any medication regimen.

Addressing sleep symptoms are of critical importance to recovery from depression. Be sure to discuss any sleep problems that persist as mood improves. Such problems may signal the presence of an underlying sleep disorder.

COPING:

Depression can be stressful and exhausting. It can also make you feel helpless and hopeless. In addition to treatment with a medical or mental health professional, here are some tips for helping you cope with depression on a daily basis:

  • Keep a regular sleep/wake schedule
  • Get into bright light soon after waking in the morning
  • Get some form of exercise every day
  • Avoid afternoon naps if you have nighttime insomnia
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol
  • Ask loved ones for help – you should not face depression alone

POLL DATA:

According to NSF's 2005 Sleep in America poll, 18% of adults aged 18 to 64 have been diagnosed with depression. The 2005 poll also revealed that those who have been diagnosed with depression or another medical condition were more likely to report symptoms of a sleep disorder. Additionally, NSF's 2006 Sleep in America poll of adolescents aged 11 to 17 revealed that among those who reported feeling unhappy, 73% reported not getting enough sleep at night.