March 10, 2023 3 min read
Depression is a very common mental health disorder that affects millions of people worldwide.
Characterized typically by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and the losing of interest in our day to day lives or activities.
Depression can have a massive impact on someone’s quality of life and typically leads to other physical and mental health problems.
And sleep disruption or disturbances are one of the key factors in the development of depression along with its level of severity!
Let’s jump in and dig a little deeper into the connection between sleep and depression and look at some potential mitigation options to improve both!
As has been stated thus far, sleep plays an important role in regulating our moods and emotional well-being. So when we experience disturbances to our sleep, it immediately disrupts our natural circadian rhythms which then can lead to negative mental health effects.
These disturbances in our sleep patterns have been shown to be a significant risk for the development of depression and those individuals who already have depression often experience sleep problems as a symptom of the order indicating a bidirectional relationship.
Studies have even found that individuals with depression are more likely to experience insomnia than those who do not suffer from depression!
The link between sleep and depression is very complex and not yet fully understood, however there is a lot of new and intense research being performed and has identified several ways in which sleep disruptions and deprivation can contribute to the onset and maintenance of depression.
Sleep plays a very impactful role in regulating mood and emotion and one way that disruptions in our sleep habits contribute to depression is by raising cortisol levels. Cortisol is released in response to stress and when elevated can often lead to feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression.
Also we know that a lack of sleep or lack of quality sleep impacts cognitive functioning like attention, concentration, and memory which in individuals who have depression often exhibit these cognitive deficits, making it difficult to manage daily tasks and responsibilities.
Furthermore, the lack of sleep may also impact executive functions like problem-solving, organization, and decision making. And as we know, when we are struggling in these areas, anxiety and stress compound and can exacerbate symptoms of depression.
As we can see, sleep plays a significant role in our mental health and depression and addressing these problems is a crucial component of depression treatment.
Sleep is typically a targeted part of depression treatment in combination with other modes of treatment such as medication, supplementation, lifestyle changes, and psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy and medications should only be discussed with a physician or licensed professional to assess each individual’s needs, so I won’t discuss those treatment protocols here.
However, lifestyle changes can be implemented simply and effectively. While individualized per person, general rules like focusing on proper nutrition, a set sleep schedule, regular exercise, and creating an sleep promoting environment can be put into place with a little bit of discipline and will do wonders for your sleep habits and in most cases improve depressive symptoms.
Also, proper supplementation may be the missing piece to the puzzle for many individuals. Oftentimes we do not get the proper nutrients and ratios of those nutrients to create the hormonal cascade and balance to get us into a restful state. Sleep Remedy addresses each of those nutrients necessary that may be missing and in the proper dosing to elicit an environment to get to sleep and limit sleep disruptions!
To wrap up, depression is something we all need to take very seriously whether it’s ourselves or someone else we know to be struggling.
While sleep is an imperative part of the treatment it may not be enough in and of itself so if you or anyone you know is experiencing severe and ongoing depression…
PLEASE ask for help or tell someone if you know of others who are fighting this crushing disorder.
There is hope.
There is help.
Let’s all fight this fight together👊
Here’s to happiness,
Kirk Parsley, M.D.