Depression and insomnia: how to treat and how to get out of the vicious circle


Depression and sleep disorders

Depression is a severe emotional disturbance characterized by the following symptoms:

  1. Apathy, inability to rejoice. A person is negatively disposed, does not experience excitement, positive emotions. A rare forced smile does not relax, does not contribute to raising the mood, but once again demonstrates displeasure.
  2. Violations of thinking. Man’s thoughts are filled with negative judgments about himself and the world around him. He does not believe that the black period will ever end, does not see a logical basis for improving the situation.
  3. Motor lethargy A person loses the ability to active life, motivation to work. He prefers to stay in one place, move as little as possible. The reason for this is not a disease, but a depressed state.

Causes and provoking factors

There are many reasons why the appears and develops:

  • strong feelings associated with the relocation, loss of a loved one, social and economic status;
  • overwork;
  • health problems;
  • endured violence;
  • pressure of others;
  • hormonal changes;
  • some diseases;
  • alcohol abuse, drugs;
  • medicines.

Factors of development of the disorder:

  1. Age. Older people are more often oppressed. Perhaps this is due to a decrease in the production of the hormone of happiness – serotonin.
  2. Floor. Women are more prone to depression, but in men it can be more severe.
  3. Social status. People of moderate means are more resistant to negative psychological effects than the poor or the very rich.
  4. Individual characteristics. Psychological traumas suffered in childhood, introversion, genetic predisposition, health, family support, character traits.
  5. Features of modern life. High pace, lack of motor activity, a large number of others, “loneliness in the crowd.”


The causes and factors of the onset and development of depression are very diverse. As, however, and its manifestations. However, one manifestation of the depressive state should be paid special attention. This is a sleep disorder. According to scientists, 80% of people experiencing depression, faced with this problem.

The underlying causes of the depressive state, primarily , do not allow a good sleep. In the morning, without a sufficient rest, a person gets everything out of his hands, he becomes nervous. In the period of wakefulness, he continues to think about his anxieties, fitting him to fixate on them.

Read also … Treatment of insomnia on nerves – how not to let stress spoil your sleep

Memory of nightmares, fears worsens the state. By evening, another tangle of anxiety, fear, apathy, stress is formed, which again translate into prolonged wakefulness and insomnia.

Insomnia, frequent waking up, nightmares, in turn, themselves cause a worsening of depressive and stressful conditions, increasing the level of anxiety. A person may have a fear that if he does not get enough sleep, he will not be able to work effectively and achieve some kind of result. It turns out a vicious circle, which is very difficult to break. It is impossible to relax neither day nor night.

According to some scientists, the level of depression and anxiety are directly dependent on the severity of sleep disorders. At the same time, the risk of developing a new depression is high precisely because of insomnia and other disorders associated with sleep.

What causes chronic insomnia against depression

Permanent depressive state, chronic sleep disorders can cause serious harm to the mental health of a person, lead to hormonal disruptions, metabolic disorders. In the character can manifest such features as:

  • irritability;
  • tearfulness;
  • anxiety;
  • aggressiveness;
  • inattention;
  • tendency to hysterical reactions;
  • fatigue

A person suffers from memory impairment, suicidal thoughts and intentions may appear.

In turn, any of these disorders can lead to more complex disorders. Apathy, lack of proper rest not only worsens the mood, but also leads to a disturbance of appetite. A person may begin to eat too much, leaning on sweet dishes. This brings relief only for a short time. Or even ceases to eat.

Depression and insomnia: how to treat and how to get out of the vicious circle

Irritability, aggressiveness, bad mood lead to deterioration of relations with friends and family. Instead of relaxing, relaxing, and having fun, a person is grumbling, angry, looking for flaws in everything. Gradually, friends, , relatives begin to shun him or be afraid. Their attempts to rectify the situation are even more annoying.

Increased fatigue, impaired memory, attention, drowsiness, together with pessimistic thoughts, make it impossible to do the job properly. There may be accidents in hazardous operations. On the road, a person in a depressed state can create an emergency. When performing routine work increases the risk of serious errors.

Slow down the overall development of man. Disappears the desire to achieve something, do what you love, work, achieve success.

Special attention should be paid to the fact that chronic insomnia and depression can lead to the emergence of various diseases:

  • cardiovascular pathology;
  • diseases of the gastrointestinal tract;
  • disorders of the musculoskeletal system;
  • vision problems;
  • obesity;
  • neurosis;
  • psychosis;
  • frequent symptoms of influenza and ARVI;
  • alcoholism and / or drug addiction.

Premature aging, wilting of the skin are also the negative effects of depression, lack of sleep.

In especially severe cases, the appearance of hallucinations and delusions is possible, which requires the immediate connection of specialists.

Characteristics of sleep in a mentally depressed state

Signs of sleep disturbance in depression:

  1. Difficulty falling asleep. A person is too excited, cannot relax, constantly remembers sad events, exhausts himself with thoughts about how to correct the situation. Excessive nervous tension may cause a buzzing sensation in the head.
  2. Frequent waking at night. A person usually wakes up a short time after falling asleep and then cannot sleep for a long time.
  3. Superficial sleep, in which the awakening comes from any sound. He does not go deep, the person does not get enough sleep, does not get proper rest. His brain does not have time to process the information received during the day, the psyche can not get rid of the negative.
  4. Lack of REM sleep. Instead, the man sinks into a nap. Those scraps of REM sleep that you manage to get are filled with unpleasant dreams, nightmares.
  5. Early Awakening A person may wake up early, wallow, even get up and start doing something, but soon he feels sleepy again. Perhaps the appearance of narcolepsy. A sharp attack of sleepiness leads to the fact that during the day a person can fall asleep for a short time, disconnect from everything.
  6. Hypersomnia is characterized by a night’s sleep for more than 10 hours, which does not bring relief. Also characterized by increased daytime sleepiness, prolonged waking.
  7. Reduced sleep duration.
  8. Nightmares often repeat real events, experiences, but sometimes in a phantasmagoric form. Then it is difficult to get rid of memories of them, they annoy, take away forces.
  9. Walking in a dream Scientists at Stanford Medical School (USA) in their study proved that people suffering from depression are 3.5 times more likely to sleepwalking.
  10. Apnea. According to Australian researchers, 47% of those suffering from this disorder showed symptoms of depression.

Insomnia with different types of depression

Currently, there are several types of depression. Each of them has its own characteristics of sleep disorders.

Exogenous and dreary

It develops under the influence of external factors. Characterized by prolonged wakefulness, early awakenings, filled with fear, hopelessness.

A distinctive feature of melancholy depression is called apathy, bad mood, feeling of hopelessness, melancholy, weakness and powerlessness. A person falls asleep heavily, sleep is superficial. Dark, obsessive dreams and other sleep disorders are characteristic. Wakes up early, but forces to rise, no, lethargy appears, headaches are possible. You can detect a certain daily rhythm: in the morning the condition is worse than in the evening.

Anxious and apathetic

Anxious depression is characterized by the constant expectation of bad things about himself, others, and future events. A person falls asleep badly, wakes up early with the expectation of something bad that could happen to him. Dreams are filled with disturbing stories.

The basis of apathetic depression is the absence of the desire to do anything, depression, low level of activity, lack of initiative and bad mood. The feeling of drowsiness during the day is characteristic, if the night’s sleep was quite calm and long. In particularly difficult cases, the destruction of the border between sleep and wakefulness is possible.

Endogenous and organic

Internal causes are characteristic of endogenous disorders. Probably the main role belongs to innate predisposition. The process of falling asleep can be trouble-free, but at night a person wakes up and then plunges into a nap, not bringing rest.

Organic disorders are associated with congenital or acquired disorders of the central . There may be difficulties in falling asleep, disturbances in the phases of sleep, frequent episodes of drowsiness during the day, nightmares, including those associated with experiencing traumatic moments. Another feature is the inability or inability to accurately describe your dream.

Symptomatic and iatrogenic

At the heart of symptomatic depression is the development of a particular pathology. It also occurs under the influence of drugs, alcohol, drugs, poisoning. Drowsiness, hypersomnia, nightmares, insomnia characterize this kind of depression.

Iatrogenic depression is a depressed state caused by drugs and their side effects. Difficulty falling asleep, excessive sleepiness.


The aggravation of seasonal depression is associated with the onset of the autumn-winter period. At this time, according to scientists, the amount of serotonin, the “hormone of happiness,” decreases in the brain.

At night, it turns into melatonin, which regulates periods of sleep and wakefulness. Hypersomnia, increased drowsiness is characteristic of a person prone to seasonal depression.

Methods of treatment of sleep disorders on the background of depressive disorder

How to cure insomnia and other sleep disorders with depression? Only complex therapy, including , counseling therapist, the use of medicines, will help restore healthy sleep and restore mental balance.

Sometimes a person prescribes a treatment for himself, thinks that insomnia will pass the next night. However, most often only a specialist can tell what to do to get rid of lack of sleep and anxiety.

Attention! Any drug can be prescribed only by a doctor after a thorough examination. Incorrectly chosen therapeutic measures can lead to a worsening of the condition.


Drug treatment of depression involves the appointment of antidepressants, which help to normalize the chemical balance in the brain and contribute to the development of serotonin. Such drugs as Tsipramil, Tsipralex improve mood, increase motivation to work, reduce sleepiness, help to return a feeling of joy, get rid of apathy.

But they can also lead to problems with sleep, in particular, insomnia, so their reception should be monitored by a specialist. The main component of Valdoxan, agomelatine, contributes to both reducing mental stress and restoring sleep. For the treatment of insomnia and reduction of nervous tension, Elenium is prescribed. Anaprilin reduces anxiety.

To cure insomnia with depression, hypnotic drugs and sedatives are often used. Independently, you can take only the means cooked on herbs. All others are issued by a specialist and are issued only by prescription. Sleeping pills can be addictive, so it is important to monitor your condition, not to self-medicate, but to let a specialist decide how to deal with insomnia.

Other methods

The psychotherapist is an important and sometimes indispensable assistant in the fight against sleep disturbance in insomnia. With it, you can find the causes of the problem and understand them. A few sessions will help alleviate the person’s condition, increase his self-esteem, reduce anxiety and eliminate fears.

Drug treatment methods may have a temporary effect. An additional means of getting rid of insomnia is the daily routine, a shower before going to bed, airing the room and maintaining a comfortable temperature in it. Evening walk, jogging two or three hours before bedtime will allow you to get some energy and improve your mood.

Relaxation and meditation will relieve stress and insomnia. Performing several relaxation exercises in the morning will restore your mental balance. Regular classes before bedtime, a cup of tea or other drinks infused with herbs, allow you to calm down, distract from problems.

Treatment of insomnia in depression is a very important point, helping to break the vicious circle formed by the disorders of night rest and depressed state. Daily deep restful sleep will allow the nervous system of a person to relax, get rid of tension and negativity. 

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