Insomnia is linked to depression

AP photo
I slept for nine hours last night.

It was amazing!

And trust me, as it probably is for most of us, this hardly ever happens. Last year my work schedule changed to start at 7 a.m. And it's been almost impossible to get to bed before 11 p.m. It seems like something always seems to happen right before I go to bed. And, of course, when I'm ready to go to bed, that's when my mind decides not to be able to shut up.

For instance on Monday, I was all ready to go to bed at 10 p.m. After I dried my hair, I came out into the living room to find my cat with a mouse in her mouth. When I came up to her, my cat freaked out and dropped the mouse, which scurried away. It took an hour for me to find the mouse, trap it in a Tupperware container and go outside to set the mouse free (hopefully it doesn't find its way back inside my apartment).

So, with my one night of good sleep, it inspired me to look up the correlation between depression and sleep. And it turns out the relationship between sleep and mental illness is complex. And that sleeping too little on a regular basis can be a bad sign.

Insomnia is very common among depressed patients. The Sleep Foundation reports that those with depression may suffer from a range of insomnia symptoms, including difficulty falling asleep (sleep onset insomnia), difficulty staying asleep (sleep maintenance insomnia), unrefreshing sleep and daytime sleepiness.

The Sleep Foundation also reports that Obstructive sleep apnea is linked to depression and that those who treat this disorder with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) will likely see improvements in their depression which are long lasting.

Treatment for sleep problems is an integral part of treating depression. Since my sleep problems aren't that severe, I take one Valerian Root pill before I go to sleep, which is sold in the vitamin aisle at any grocery store or drug store. With this natural herb, I don't wake up with that feeling after taking sleeping medicine — like my head was run over by a bus.

If you have both symptoms of depression and a sleep disorder, first talk to your physician. Sometimes treating your sleep disorder can be enough to alleviate your depression as well. There are a number of different medications that treat insomnia and your doctor can work with you to determine which ones fit you best.

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  1. Hypnosis can help solve sleeping problems. It is the quickest and most effective technique of recovery and change therapy available
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  3. There are a lot of factors that trigger insomnia unconsciously. We need to find a way to relax our mind hours before we sleep. Over thinking will leave our brain functioning and therefore keep us wide awake. Instead of taking medicines, a much safer and proven effective alternative treatment you can try is acupuncture. What's good about this is that, it does not only cure your insomnia, but your other health problems as well.

    -Jessi Casas @ FoxValleyAcupuncture

  4. Whatever causes insomnia, there are various ways to treat it. While the use of sleeping pills and alcohol might help, it’s advisable to use natural treatments such as acupuncture treatment and chiropractic therapy. It helps in maintaining the balance in our body, keeps us breathing better and relaxes our mind. Hope you're enjoying your long hours of sleep! :)

    Alan Siegel