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The Complex Relationship Between Insomnia And Depression

By Thomas Twain_

A widely accepted belief among the general public is that insomnia is the result of depression. Insomnia deprives people of adequate amounts of sleep, resulting from the inability to stay asleep or to fall asleep. Insomnia is generally considered to be a symptom of depression as 80% of the patients suffering from it have complaints about insomnia, and only about 15% report excessive sleep. Consequently, insomnia has long been associated to be result of depression and mood disorders.

However recent studies conducted in this area have revealed a much more complex relationship between insomnia and depression, though the exact nature of the relationship has not yet been established.

Earlier studies recorded patients complaining of insomnia almost 5 weeks prior to the diagnosis of depression. Hence it was then established that insomnia indicates the onset of depression.

Other studies examining their relationship concluded that insomnia could be used as a cure for depression, as patients who suffer from depression have an abnormal sleeping cycle. REM sleep or rapid eye movement is the dream stage during the sleep cycle and in patients not suffering any illnesses, it tends to follow deepening and relaxing cycles of sleep. However, people undergoing depression tend to fall into REM sleep quickly. It is worth noting that it is during sleep that a persons? memory is recollected and organized. It is during this dream state that a depressed patient?s brain recalls distressing memories, which the person upon waking up remembers. As a result of this sleep cycle disturbance, and the reason behind depression caused by sleep, preventing patients from drifting into REM sleep is the remedy for suppressing painful memories and thus preventing depression.

Experts have been bewildered by the complex relationship between depression and insomnia. On one hand, it seems to be a symptom of depression, occurring beforehand; whereas on the other, it is thought to be a cure to prevent it. Only future studies on the subject may hold the truth.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Twain_, Thomas "The Complex Relationship Between Insomnia And Depression." The Complex Relationship Between Insomnia And Depression. 27 Jun. 2010. 3 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Twain_, T (2010, June 27). The Complex Relationship Between Insomnia And Depression. Retrieved August 3, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Twain_, Thomas "The Complex Relationship Between Insomnia And Depression"

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