Providing Health and Well Being Through Proper Sleep Will Change Your Life
Sleep Health and Depression

Depression and sleep disorders can often be linked. While it is normal to feel sad sometimes, depression is a much more serious condition that cannot be ignored. This disorder affects how someone sleeps, thinks, feels and eats. Depression will affect all areas of someone’s life and does not go away on its own.

Those with depression often have problems with sleep as well. Depression can cause sleep problems, but the sleep problems could also appear first. Depression and sleep disorders can have symptoms that overlap. This can be a problem and lead to a higher risk of misdiagnosis. When someone feels depressed, it may be a sign of OSA, narcolepsy or insomnia.

Sleep Conditions Linked to Depression

Depression can be linked to some sleep disorders:

  • Insomnia

    Many depressed patients experience insomnia. The symptoms include having problems falling asleep, having problems staying asleep, daytime sleepiness and unrefreshing sleep. People who have insomnia have a ten times higher risk of developing depression.

  • Obstructive sleep apnea

    Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, has also been found to have a link to depression. A study by Maurice Ohayon, MD, Phd, of Stanford found that people with depression were five times more likely to suffer from sleeping disorders involving breathing.

  • Restless legs syndrome

    Restless legs syndrome, or RLS, could easily be misdiagnosed as depression. It is a neurological condition that causes sleep problems and leg discomfort. If a sleep condition is not being considered, depression may be diagnosed by mistake.


Sleep disorders can complicate treatment for depression. Keep these things in mind:

  • Complications of OSA and depression

    Sedating antidepressants should be avoided when someone has OSA. These medications can worsen OSA by suppressing breathing. You need to talk to your doctor about any sleep problems you may have.

  • Cognitive behavior therapy, or CBT, can treat depression and insomnia

    CBT may be a good approach if you experience both depression and insomnia. It is known for being effective against depression and has a lack of side effects. It can also treat insomnia at the same time.

  • Treatment can take time

    It can take some time to treat clinical depression. If there are sleep disorders at work as well, it is important to understand how to treat both and how they may be affecting each other.

If you suspect you suffer from depression or a sleep disorder, you need medical attention and to understand both of your conditions. Set up a Sleep Health Consultation today to see which disorders may be affecting your sleep.