Depression, anxiety and sleep disorders frequently occur together.  Do you feel tired? Not getting enough sleep can lead to a variety of chronic conditions, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and depression, and lacking sleep may make these conditions more difficult to treat. Adequate sleep is quickly becoming a central part of disease prevention and health promotion.

Your ability to perform and feel “normal” throughout the day is directly related to the amount of sleep you get the night before, and if you feel sleepy during the day, getting more sleep will help you be more productive and energetic during the day. However, many adults report that they have trouble sleeping at least one night a week. Major depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances frequently are found together and may aggravate each other. According to the National Center for Sleep Disorders Research at the National Institutes of Health, about 30-40% of people suffer from insomnia symptoms in any given year and 10-15 % have chronic symptoms of insomnia.

There are several different types of sleep disorders:

Initial insomnia (also known as sleep-onset insomnia) is characterized as difficulty falling asleep at night and increased time between going to bed and falling asleep. Middle insomnia (or sleep-maintenance insomnia) is marked by restless sleep, and a person with middle insomnia may wake frequently throughout the night. Major depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances such as both types of insomnia may be linked together and middle insomnia is sometimes associated with alcohol abuse.

Terminal insomnia is characterized by waking up earlier than necessary and being unable to fall back asleep. Major depression, anxiety and sleep problems, including terminal insomnia are often at work together.  Waking up early with worry might suggest and anxiety disorder, whereas terminal insomnia associated with feelings of inadequacy or helplessness could be signs of depression. Hypersomnia is marked by excessive sleepiness during the day, often the result of a chronic lack of sleep or a low quality of sleep and is also associated with depression.

Whether Major depression, anxiety and sleep disorders are co-occurring or not, the amount of sleep a person needs varies from individual to individual and changes with age. Here are some sleep guidelines for various ages:

Infants: From birth to 2 months, infants need 12-18 hours a day; from 3-11 months, they need 14-15 hours

Children: From one to three years, children need 12-14 hours a day; from three to five years, they need 11-13; from five to ten years, they need 10-11 hours

Adolescents: Between ten and 17 years of age, children and teens need 8.5-9.5 hours a day

Adults: 7-9 hours a day

Major depression, Anxiety and Sleep Hygiene

Getting a healthy amount of sleep each night is known as sleep hygiene. Whether depression, anxiety and sleep disruptions are all at play or not, improving your sleep hygiene is crucial and can be accomplished by following these suggestions:

  • Establish a routine: go to bed at the same time every night, and get up at the same time every morning
  • Sleep in a dark, quiet, relaxing room, and make sure the temperature isn’t too hot or too cold
  • Use your bed only for sleeping, not for reading, watching TV, or doing other activities
  • Remove all electronics from your bedroom
  • Avoid eating large quantities of food before you go to bed

Other Sleep Disorders

Other sleep-related disorders resulting in a lack of sleep may include:

  • Narcolepsy: excessive sleepiness during the day accompanied by sudden weakness in the muscles
  • Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS): an unsettling “creeping” feeling in the legs, associated with aches or pains which may disrupt sleep
  • Sleep apnea: periodic gasping or snorting caused by a temporary inability to breathe which may disrupt sleep

If you suspect that you or someone you know is suffering from depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances, it is recommended that you contact your healthcare provider to address your concerns. If you have ruled out medical conditions for your sleep disorder, it is likely that depression or anxiety are contributing to your sleep disturbance.  Depending on the severity of your depression, anxiety and sleep problems, professional mental health treatment may be indicated.

Because our treatment for depression and anxiety programs rely on evidence based practices, our Intensive Outpatient Program shares many common methods with other successful treatment methods.  The foundation of our treatment program for relies on the principles of the stages of change, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused treatment, skills training and identifying repetitive dysfunctional behavioral relationship patterns to promote recovery from depression and other mental health disorders.  In fact, our Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN that has been proven to be effective in the treatment of these disorders in six peer reviewed treatment outcome studies. Unfortunately, less half of all individuals with any mental illness in Tennessee will receive mental health treatment. Our treatment center provides services to those who need more treatment than one hour a week, but less than 24 hour care, by providing three hours of treatment per day, three to five days per week, in an intensive outpatient setting. It is also important to keep in mind that women and men often experience depression differently and therefore the presence of depression may also appear differently based on gender. If you or a loved one is showing signs of depression or anxiety, including PTSD, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan for depression that can result in recovery.  Treatment for depression and anxiety can be highly successful.  People who have completed our program have provide very high consumer satisfaction scores and reviewsCall us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.