So I have started attending an 'Insomnia Clinic', which is actually like group therapy. I missed the 2nd meeting due to depression hitting (the irony...), however, I went into research mode, and turned up this book review relating to the links between Depression and poor sleep/insomnia:

-Apologies if this has been posted before, as I am quite new to the forum.

It did provide me with some insights to my own condition and the insomnia, which I think is mainly stress related but also a long-term feature of my wonky lifestyle.

How many of you out there suffer from insomnia, or day-sleeping and nignt wakefulness, and do you think it is an outcome of your depressive illness, or possibly a trigger?

15 Replies

  • Hello Sara

    Well I am sixty five, I go to bed and sleep.

    During the day I will dose, sometimes like now when typing, not forgetting I am a depressive. The cause is a chronic condition.

    You are admitting a wonky lifestyle if that includes late nights and early starts that may cause a stressed lifestyle. So yes if your hours are wonky, speaking when I was young I was a bit wonky and yes some of it was lifestyle choices


  • Thanks for the reply! I am not that young, into my 5th decade now, but I suffer from really low energy and then, quite often, get a 'second wind' quite late at night. I try not to doze during the day but sometimes I can't stop myself. Strangely, when in a very depressed episode, I become practically nocturnal, so I could sleep the day away, but either get cannot sleep at night due to racing thoughts as soon as I lie my head down, or feel quite wakeful and recover some of the alertness I didn't have during the day. Maybe I should just be doing night-work, eh ;) ?

  • Have you thought of listening to an audio book when you go to bed to help stop those racing thoughts as its something ive been doing lately and it works for me

  • I have tried some relaxation CDs, which are guided meditations. Whether they work or not depends on the degree of sleeplessness I'm experiencing, but they do help to put you in a sleep-ready state, I'd agree.

  • As far as I know it has n't been posted before and is quite interesting. I will have to read it again at leisure but in view of the inability of the medics to really understand depression (as I've said so often,not their fault, its a very difficult area ). It still leaves unanswered why we have different sleep patterns , but maybe it will advance treatment for depression.

    I hope so, some real advances are long overdue.


  • Thanks for your reply. I was interested, if anecdotally, anyone on this forum suffered from insomnia alongside depression, or possibly has insomnia 'between episodes'. I guess a lot of us are going to experience similar symptons, but at the end of the day we are all unique and not going to comply to a pattern - otherwise the health professionals would have us all sorted out, wouldn't they?

  • I think its quite unusual to have depression without some disruption to sleep patterns,usually less sleep but sometimes more sleep.

    I try not to worry about it,try to go to bed earlier, and even if i miss practically a whole night's sleep, I usually feel pretty bad in the morning but have found I usually get through the next day OK. After all its perfectly acceptable to say to people that if they find you a bit slow,that you just could n't sleep the night before.

    Very few people drop off immediately into sleep for say 8 hours every night, and eventually your body will give you a good night's sleep.


  • Hi very interesting thank you for posting this. I have suffered from depression most of my life, but last time it got bad again a new symptom appeared - insomnia. I had never had any problems sleeping before around 7 years ago but suddenly I kept waking up every half hour or so throughout the night. Then I started being unable to nod off for hours too. Obviously this impacted severely on my full time job so I am now on mirtazapine at night which does help quite a bit. The only other way I can sleep is to self medicate with alcohol...

    Interesting enough for around the past 30 years I had always had an hours or so kip around 6-7 especially if I was was going out. I realised it wasn't the sleep I was after but the total relaxation after a busy day when my head would be spinning like a top. This certainly calmed me down and I could carry on then.

    The doctor tried to say that this was the problem even though I pointed out that I had done this a lot of my life. He was talking bumkum! x

  • Thanks for your reply. I always thought my insomnia was due to stress because it started, I think, when I was doing A Levels. What I have noticed over the decades is that with depression I get a much poorer quality sleep. I can sleep for hours during the day, or doze really, but day or night, I never get a good long sleep, even if I lie there for hours, and I never feel properly refreshed. I learned from the sleep clinic that it's quite normal to wake up a few times during the night, especially as we age. What is abnormal is taking more than an hour, sometimes several, waiting to go back to sleep. This is where the 'lay in bed 11 hours, slept 4 or them' kicks in, and as you say, it puts paid to being able to hold down a job.

  • Hi

    I'd like to share something. When I was small and couldn't sleep my Mum would tell me that lying there and resting was the same thing. (It's not). Eventually I would fall asleep. I stopped being anxious about being awake when I should have been asleep. It is in my head that it does not matter when you sleep just as long as you do and that taking rest is the same as sleeping. I also think of sleep as a time to work out the stuff I have done in the day. If I haven't done much, I don't need to sleep much. If I have done a lot, I need to sleep a lot.

    I really don't know if depression is a result of lack of sleep or the cause of it.

    You seam like a person who likes to understand things.

    Anyway, hope that helps.


  • Ally your spot on there saying not to be anxious about not sleeping ...thats what i realised myself too and its made so much difference.......if i go to bed and i cant sleep i get up and sometimes stay up all night

  • Hi

    Thanks for your reply. I know it's hard when you can't sleep. Fortunately my insomnia only usually lasts a night so I can't imagine how hard it must be when it goes on longer. It sounds as if you are finding ways to cope with this. I hope the sleep group works for you and maybe come up with some more ideas for you. I sometimes use Cds to help me sleep. I have found hypnotherapy Cds useful particularly one for finding inner peace. You seam the sort of person who tries lots if things so you may have come across it before. I just thought I'd mention it. I hope sleep gets better for you.


  • When it comes to sleeping, about ten years ago I was unable to sleep so my GP put me back on sleeping tablets. They became a waste of time so I had an extended period to get myself off them.

    When I was dry from the drug and had managed to beat all the contraindications I found my sleep became better than being on the tablets.

    Now I need to take two different antidepressants, Citalopram for Depression and a low dose of Amatryptalene (sorry for spelling) for nerve damage caused by my PsA.

    I began to take the antidepressive medications at half an hour before sleep, as I did with some other drug types not associated with the former. I found that I slept well at night, we went to bed at the same time every night and had supper at about 20;30. Bed

    24;00 hrs. When I woke up I have no drug fog and I feel quite refreshed as the medications are past the tiredness of the night before. They also say you should not lie in and go to bed at varying times in the evening.

    Just something you can try, above may work


  • Yep, Insomnia is a symptom of depression. I find reading a book to relax helps, they say a proper book is best rather than an e reader as it emits blue light which stimulates the brain.


  • What I found of interest in this review was the theory that people with severe depression have a different kind of sleep, with the REM starting almost immediately instead of the deep, restorative sleep. I have no idea whether this happens to me, but I know that I dream a lot, often very vividly, and will wake up in the middle of one dream, and, if I go back to sleep sooner rather than later, will plung back into dreaming again. Even if I only sleep for 5 minutes I'm often aware of dreaming. What's strange about this to me, is that when in a deep depression, I have that 'deadened' effect, where I don't feel like I'm part of the world, and can't think through anything requiring more than 1 step. Then when sleeping, I have dreams that are quite hectic, sometimes alarming, extremely vivid and action-packed. It is like the sub-conscious has gone into overdrive. So it seems that it doesn't matter how 'empty' the day has been, there is definitely something the psyche is working through...

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