Does insomnia cause depression?
Does depression cause insomnia, or does insomnia cause depression?
In some ways this is a little bit of a “does the egg come before the chicken, or the chicken before the egg” debate. When you are not sleeping your body and energy levels get knocked about and the concern you feel about not sleeping can cause you to feel down….. OR ……. If you are feeling emotionally down your worries may keep you awake as well as lead you into some bad eating, exercise and self-talk patterns that may start causing insomnia.
The easiest way to understand the link between depression and insomnia is….
Think about your mind, body, emotions and actions as all linked together and equally influencing each other. For example;
“You are tired one day, you drink extra coffee to stay alert during the day, that night you don’t get to sleep well because of the caffeine in your system, the next morning you wake up tired so you skip going to the gym/run late for work, this may spark feelings of guilt, you’re tired during the day so you have some sugar and coffee to stay awake. That night you lie in bed and start to feel anxious because you really need to get to sleep tonight…..you possibly don’t sleep well, and wake up feeling concerned”. And then you do it all over again!
What can I do?
The good news is, this mind, body, emotion and action connection works in a positive direction too! That means changing our activities and what we do with our bodies will have a direct affect on our minds, so can shift depression and insomnia.
So, while ideally you want to do some positive self-talk to help out your thinking when you are feeling down…. if that feels too hard at the moment, changing some bedroom habits and some small diet and exercise tweeks WILL shift how you are feeling emotionally straight away, and this will ease some worries so you can sleep.
Take control right now by reading about;
Helpful sleep habits
What kind of exercise will help you sleep
What you can eat to help you sleep….. and what might be keeping you awake