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What is the Connection Between Depression and Insomnia?

The connection between depression and insomnia is that one is frequently the cause of the other. First, depression often interrupts sleep; some people with depression find that they want to sleep quite a bit more than usual, while others find that they have insomnia. Second, people experiencing persistent insomnia over a period of time often find that it leads to either temporary feelings of depression and anxiety, or even clinical depression.

Sleep disturbances are one of the most common symptoms of depression, which is why depression and insomnia are so frequently taken together. Sometimes people with depression find that they are exhausted and sleeping a lot during the day, but then they experience insomnia at night. Others find that the anxiety that often accompanies depression makes it difficult for them to get any sleep at all. Conversely, some people find that their depression makes them more tired than usual; each person's experience is different.

Depression and insomnia are linked in other ways as well. Sometimes, a person may not have depression, but may begin experiencing insomnia for other reasons. If the insomnia lasts, it can quickly have a negative impact on one's moods and ability to cope with stress. Depression often occurs when one is experiencing insomnia, and it can then become a cycle where one symptom continues to worsen the other. Targeting the cause of insomnia is often the best course of action to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.

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Feelings of depression and insomnia can be caused by life stress as well. Frequent stress at work or home can easily cause mood swings and make it difficult to sleep at night. In addition, abuse of alcohol or drugs can also lead to depression and insomnia; some prescription drugs can potentially cause insomnia as a side effect, but if someone is experiencing this symptom then it should be addressed with one's doctor.

Depression and insomnia may be treated in various ways depending on the severity of the symptoms. Anti-depressant medication may be able to relieve the symptoms of depression, which can then correct the insomnia. Some people find that taking a sleeping pill can help with occasional insomnia and depression. Natural methods of treating insomnia and depression, such as exercise, relaxation techniques, or dietary changes can be effective as well. Exercise is often especially effective, because it encourages the body to release endorphins that help to boost the mood, as well as promoting sleep at night.

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