How Can Depression Affect Sleep Quality?

Depression is a mental health disorder that affects the lives of many people. An estimated 21 million adults in the U.S. had at least one major depressive episode in 2020. Of these adults, 14.8 million experienced a major depressive episode with severe impairment.

The World Health Organization (WHO) characterizes depression as persistent sadness and a lack of interest or pleasure in previously rewarding or enjoyable activities. Depression can drastically affect an individual’s quality of life and mental health and comes in several different forms.

What Are the Main Types of Depression?

Understanding the various types of depression is an important aspect of pursuing proper diagnosis and treatment. The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) recognizes the following five disorders as the main types:

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder

This type of depression is found in adolescents. With disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD), the individual experiences episodes of extreme irritability, anger, and frequent, intense temper outbursts. This type of depression can progress into a more serious form of depression in adulthood.

Major Depressive Disorder

The most common form of depression is known as major depressive disorder (MDD). Symptoms of MDD may disrupt an individual’s ability to work, sleep, eat, or interact with others.

Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia)

The word dysthymia comes from the Greek language. It means “bad state of mind” or “ill humor.” The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) defines dysthymia as chronic low-level depression that is not as severe as MDD. However, it often lasts longer.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Not to be confused with PMS, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PDD) is much more severe. An estimated five to eight percent of women experience moderate-to-severe symptoms which may cause serious distress and impairment.

Depressive Disorder Due to Another Medical Condition

With this type of depression, symptoms are similar to that of major depression and dysthymia. However, the cause stems from a medical health issue. Some medical conditions that may result in this form of depression include:

  • Chronic illness
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Substance abuse disorders (SUDs)

Other Types of Depression

While the above are common forms of depression, there are many more variations. Other types of depression include the following:

  • Perinatal depression: A form in which women experience major depression during pregnancy or after delivery which is then called postpartum depression
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): Symptoms come and go as the season change; they often start during late fall or early winter and then recede at the beginning of spring or summer
  • Depression with symptoms of psychosis: Involves a person who experiences psychosis (delusions and hallucinations) symptoms along with symptoms of depression

Included among all depressive disorders are a variety of symptoms that significantly impact an individual’s ability to function.

Symptoms of Depression

The symptoms of depression can be crippling to a person’s overall mental health. When left untreated, they can lead to even more health concerns. Some of the most common signs and symptoms associated with depression include:

  • Deep, persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Excessive weight loss or weight gain
  • Outbursts of anger or frustration, even as a result of minor inconveniences
  • Losing interest in things that were once previously loved or enjoyed
  • Increased risk of suicidal thoughts or tendencies
  • Significant impact on an individual’s sleep

What Effects Does Depression Have On Sleep?

Among the most significant symptoms involved with depression are the effects that depression has on an individual’s sleep. Getting quality sleep every night is essential to overall well-being. In addition to the symptoms listed above, depression may also cause the following:

  • Regular interruptions in nightly sleep
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive sleeping during the day
  • Sluggish movement and thoughts
  • Feeling drained and lacking energy

If an individual has ever experienced a night with little or no sleep, they know firsthand how hard this can be on their body and mind. People who face depression deal with this challenge most days or, in more severe cases, every day.

This level of sleep deprivation can be detrimental to a person’s mental and physical health. The dangers of a consistently poor sleep schedule include increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, heart attack, and stroke.

Creating a Nightly Routine

Putting in place a strict nightly routine can significantly improve sleep quality. As a result, it can also improve a person’s state of depression.

Set aside 30 minutes before bedtime every evening to wind down and calm the mind. This can help promote better sleep and train the body’s internal clock to recognize when to sleep. Waking to an alarm at the same time every morning can also help teach the body when it’s time to get up each morning. Avoid naps during the day, as this can interfere with overnight sleep patterns.

Finding Treatment for Depression

When depression is left untreated, symptoms can worsen and often lead to other health concerns. It is important to reach out when an individual notice any of the signs or symptoms of depression. This disorder can control a person’s life. However, it is treatable, and can there are programs available to help achieve consistent joy and happiness again. Life is worth it. You are worth it.

When depression is ignored, it begins to control your life and ruins what your body needs most to function: sleep. Your life doesn’t have to continue in this pattern of exhaustion and hopelessness. At Alter Behavioral Health, we not only care about your mental health, we care about you. Our passion and goal is to bring happiness and peace back into your daily life by confronting your depression head-on and providing you with top-notch love and care. You deserve all the joy that this life has to offer, and we want nothing more than to be the ones who help you achieve this goal. Call us today at (866) 691-4386 to learn more about our program.