Insomnia is a common depression symptom — and like depression, insomnia is sometimes difficult to treat. To better understand the connection between insomnia and depression, let’s examine both medical conditions, along with common symptoms and treatments.
What Is Insomnia?
Insomnia refers to a medical condition that makes it virtually impossible to fall or stay asleep. There are two types of insomnia: acute and chronic. Acute insomnia generally occurs due to an identifiable cause — such as work-related stress or jet lag following a long flight — and lasts less than three months. Chronic insomnia refers to sleeplessness that occurs at least three nights per week over a period of three months or longer. It occurs due to unhealthy sleep habits, clinical disorders, medications, or other factors that may make it tough for you to get a good night’s sleep. In some cases, chronic insomnia may even be related to a medical or psychiatric issue.
Research indicates insomnia is a major problem for many Americans. In a study of 1,435 Americans, approximately 25% said they experienced acute insomnia. However, among these individuals, 75% recovered good sleep within 12 months. As a point of comparison, 21% continued to experience acute insomnia symptoms and 6% developed chronic insomnia during this time frame.
Insomnia Symptoms and Treatments
In addition to depression, common insomnia symptoms include:
- Waking up during the night or too early
- Feeling tired during the day
- Increased susceptibility to accidents and errors
If insomnia affects your ability to perform everyday activities, meet with a doctor. A doctor can help you identify the root cause of your insomnia and determine the best course of action to treat insomnia symptoms.
There are many reasons why insomnia occurs, and treatments for insomnia vary from person to person. Common insomnia treatments include:
- Relaxation Techniques: Doctors sometimes recommend breathing exercises and other relaxation techniques to eliminate stress that otherwise causes insomnia.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy is designed to help you manage negative thoughts and feelings that contribute to insomnia symptoms.
- Prescription Medications: In certain instances, prescription medications are used to help induce sleep or ensure you can stay asleep. Prescription medications are typically short-term insomnia treatments and not recommended for long-term use.
If you or someone you know is struggling with insomnia, don’t wait to get help. The longer you wait to treat insomnia, the more likely it becomes that insomnia symptoms will escalate. Perhaps worst of all, if your insomnia symptoms go untreated for an extended period of time, you may suffer insomnia-related depression.
What Is Depression?
Depression is a mood disorder that affects how you think, feel, and behave. It can occur at any age, and some of the risk factors associated with depression include:
- Family history of depression
- Major life change or traumatic event
- Physical illness or medication
There are several types of depression, and these include:
- Major Depressive Disorder: Results in feelings of sadness and hopelessness that persist for two weeks or longer.
- Recurrent Depressive Disorder: Refers to a medical condition that involves a series of depressive episodes, i.e. incidents that cause mild, moderate, or severe depression symptoms.
- Bipolar Affective Disorder: Causes both manic and depressive episodes, with in-between periods in which a person feels normal.
Depression affects more than 300 million people globally, according to the World Health Organization. But depression sometimes goes undiagnosed and untreated. With the ability to identify and treat depression, you are better equipped than ever before to avoid long-lasting depression symptoms.
Depression Symptoms and Treatments
Depression sometimes causes irritability, fatigue, headaches, cramps, and body pain. Depression also increases a person’s susceptibility to insomnia.
Sleep disorders are leading symptoms of depression, too. In a study of 2,800 depression patients, researchers found roughly 75% of respondents experienced insomnia symptoms. Also, 97% of study respondents experienced sleep difficulties, and 59% said poor sleep habits “significantly affected” their quality of life.
Many depression treatments are available, and these include:
- Antidepressants: Antidepressants are depression medications that alter the way the brain manages chemicals that control your mood or stress levels. It may take several weeks for an antidepressant to deliver its desired results, and an antidepressant may also cause nausea, vomiting, and other side effects.
- Psychotherapy: Also referred to as talk therapy, psychotherapy involves working with a mental health counselor to understand the underlying causes of depression symptoms. Common types of psychotherapy include cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and problem-solving therapy.
- Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) therapy uses magnetic pulses to stimulate brain cells. To date, more than 60 dTMS therapy clinical trials have been performed worldwide. The use of dTMS for depression treatment has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for many years for patients who have been resistant to other treatment modalities.
If you or someone you know is dealing with depression, insomnia, or both, consulting with a doctor is key. A doctor can help you find a safe, effective way to treat depression and insomnia symptoms. As a result, you can work with a doctor to get the help you need to overcome these symptoms.
The Bottom Line on Insomnia and Depression
There is often a strong relationship between insomnia and depression yet treating both conditions at the same time is rarely simple. At Achieve TMS, we provide depression resources to help you treat insomnia and depression symptoms. We also offer a revolutionary dTMS depression therapy to help you eliminate your depression symptoms – and ensure that these symptoms won’t prevent you from getting sufficient rest.
For those who are considering dTMS therapy, we offer a free treatment consultation. During a consultation, we learn about your symptoms and determine if you are a good candidate for dTMS therapy. Plus, the consultation enables you to learn about all aspects of dTMS therapy, find out how a dTMS treatment plan works, and decide if dTMS therapy is right for you. To book a free consultation with Achieve TMS, please call or text us today at 877-285-0822.