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The Relationship Between Depression And Sleep


A relationship does exist between sleep and depression.  Individuals with depression can experience insomnia or hypersomnia.  Insomnia is an inability to sleep, while hypersomnia is sleeping in excessive amounts.  This article will explore the relationship between insomnia and depression.

What Is Insomnia?

Insomnia as stated in the introduction is an inability to sleep.  However, what causes insomnia?  According to, the following can be stated about the causes of insomnia:

There are many medical conditions (some mild and others more serious) that can lead to insomnia. In some cases, a medical condition itself causes insomnia, while in other cases, symptoms of the condition cause discomfort that can make it difficult for a person to sleep.

Examples of medical conditions that can cause insomnia are:

  • Nasal/sinus allergies
  • Gastrointestinal problems such as reflux
  • Endocrine problems such as hyperthyroidism
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease
  • Chronic pain
  • Low back pain

What Is The Relationship Between Depression And Insomnia?

What is the relationship between depression and insomnia?  According to, the following can be stated about the relationship between depression and insomnia:

Insomnia is very common among depressed patients.  Evidence suggests that people with insomnia have a ten-fold risk of developing depression compared with those who sleep well. Depressed individuals may suffer from a range of insomnia symptoms, including difficulty falling asleep (sleep onset insomnia), difficulty staying asleep (sleep maintenance insomnia), unrefreshing sleep, and daytime sleepiness. However, research suggests that the risk of developing depression is highest among people with both sleep onset and sleep maintenance insomnia.

On a further note, according to, “It’s important to know that symptoms of depression (such as low energy, loss of interest or motivation, feelings of sadness or hopelessness) and insomnia can be linked, and one can make the other worse. The good news is that both are treatable regardless of which came first.”


To end this article, a relationship does indeed exist between depression and sleep.  In particular, this article discussed the relationship between depression and insomnia.  Naturally, since a relationship between depression and insomnia exists, people with depression are likely to sleep less, based on this relationship.  What causes insomnia?  As stated in this article, insomnia may be caused by various medical conditions such as nasal/sinus allergies, gastrointestinal problems such as reflux, endocrine problems such as hyperthyroidism, arthritis, asthma, neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, chronic pain, in addition to lower back pain.

The Relationship Between Depression And Sleep

Lauren Walters

My name is Lauren Walters. I am currently heading into my final semester of graduate school for Mental Health Counseling in the Spring of 2016. Through my own experiences with mental illness, I love to inspire others through my writings and reassure them that they can live healthy, productive lives, despite mental illness. I hope you enjoy my articles. Feel free to comment. I will be sure to respond to you questions and/or comments in a prompt manner. Enjoy!

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APA Reference
Walters, L. (2016). The Relationship Between Depression And Sleep. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 14, 2020, from


Last updated: 4 Oct 2016
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