Why does insomnia occur with depression?

It sounds paradoxical, but depression is accompanied by excessive activation of the nervous system. In addition to changes in higher nervous activity and the appearance of anxiety and obsessive thoughts, an imbalance also occurs in endocrine regulation — the amount of stress hormones increases in the blood during depression. Developing changes lead to desynchronosis — a violation of human circadian rhythms that ensure the normal operation of all organs and systems in a 24-hour mode.

In such conditions, it is quite difficult, and sometimes even impossible, for the nervous system to move from a state of wakefulness to sleep. It becomes difficult for a person to fall asleep not only in the evening, but also after night awakenings, which appear more and more often against the background of depression.

Over time, an obsessive "fear of not falling asleep" appears, which provokes even greater disorders of circadian regulation and, accordingly, exacerbates sleep disorders.

Progressive manifestations of insomnia cause irritability, decreased attention, high blood pressure and diseases of the digestive tract. Scientific studies have even revealed a link between chronic sleep disorders and the risk of malignant tumors. Many mechanisms of disorders have not yet been definitively established, but the relationship between insomnia and somatic diseases is undeniable.

What should I do if insomnia is associated with depression?

Obviously, if sleep disorders are caused by depression, then it is necessary to deal with the problem with the elimination of the causes of insomnia. However, there are several basic rules of sleep hygiene that are worth trying even before a visit to a specialist.

  • Go to bed and get up at the same time, and on weekdays and weekends.
  • Do not overeat before going to bed — dinner should be light.
  • Exercise only in the morning and afternoon. In the evening, it is better to take a leisurely walk in the fresh air.
  • In the afternoon, reduce the consumption of strong tea, coffee and alcohol, and ideally, give up these drinks.
  • Take care of the comfort of the bed and pillow. And don't forget that a bed is a place to sleep, not to watch TV, eat or while away free time.
  • Ventilate the room and dim the lights before going to bed.

Undoubtedly, insomnia caused by depression requires full treatment. Therefore, do not be afraid of contacting a specialist psychotherapist. Doctors have at their disposal many ways to effectively correct disorders and normalize the quality of sleep and life. Depending on the severity of depression and sleep disorders, a specialist may recommend:

  • rational, behavioral and cognitive psychotherapy;
  • self-training aimed at improving self-esteem;
  • biofeedback techniques;
  • relaxation techniques;
  • sleep deprivation is a conscious refusal to sleep for a period of 36 hours or more.

All this must be done under the supervision of a specialist.

In addition to psychotherapeutic techniques, the doctor may resort to medications to normalize sleep. Today, the old sleeping pills, which caused side effects such as addiction, addiction, and required an increase in the dose, have been replaced by new effective and safe ones. They reduce the time of falling asleep, increases the duration and quality of sleep, do not violate the structure and phases of sleep, have practically no side effects. However, they should not be taken without a doctor's appointment.

Chronic insomnia on the background of depression is not the most pleasant type of sleep disorders, seriously impairing the quality of life. Nevertheless, timely referral to a specialist and a significant arsenal of psychotherapeutic methods and modern medicines is the right way to solve the problem. Feel free to ask for help. Believe me, everything is fixable and a good sleep will definitely come back to you!

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