What Is A Depression Nap? What You Need To Know About Depression And Sleep
By: Robert Porter
Updated October 14, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Lauren Guilbeault
Depression is something that impacts the lives of millions of people. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) affects approximately 6.8% of the adult population in the United States, yet only about 43% receive treatment. It's important to understand that depression is a common problem that can impact anyone's life. It isn't always easy to get through depression without support, and it comes in various forms.
Some people become mentally and physically exhausted when they're experiencing symptoms of depression. This will often cause people to want to sleep more than usual. You might have heard of the term "depression nap" on social media. A depression nap is essentially a way to avoid personal problems by taking a short depression nap to refresh yourself.
These types of naps are very real, and they aren't necessarily a healthy thing. In this article, you'll be able to take a look at the relationship between depression and sleep. This will give you a deeper understanding of why feeling depressed makes you want to go to sleep. These depression symptoms can greatly impact many aspects of an individual’s life, so it's important to understand the link between sleep and depression and how to manage it.
The Link Between Sleep And Depression
The link between sleep and depression is very strong. People who are depressed often experience problems with their sleeping patterns. In fact, some studies have shown that nearly 75% of depressed patients experience symptoms of insomnia, meaning they find it difficult to go to sleep and stay asleep.. Hypersomnia, otherwise known as excessive sleepiness, is a symptom experienced by 40% of young adults with depression.
At times people may feel overwhelmed by their depression, and it can cause their sleeping patterns to become irregular. This can manifest itself as an extreme urge to stay in bed and try to sleep. Some people may even end up trying to avoid conflict or issues in their life by sleeping. Depression may feel overwhelming, and these negative emotions are very tough for people to process. They may feel exhausted to deal with their daily life and would rather sleep.
Many depressed patients have noted that they feel a lack of motivation. It's hard to find the will to go out and face the world when you're feeling so bogged down by depression. This is why so many people choose to try to sleep when they're feeling down. They might even be hoping that they'll feel better once they wake up.
The issue with using sleep as a coping mechanism is that it will not solve any of the challenges you’re facing, and it won’t necessarily make symptoms of depression disappear. Sleeping instead of confronting or dealing with depression or life challenges may make the symptoms of depression worse. Instead of reaching out for help or acknowledging the depression, some people may try to hide from the world and the difficulties they may face by trying to sleep as much as possible.
Are Naps Bad For Mental Health?
Naps are not necessarily bad for mental health. Taking a nap under normal circumstances can have great benefits. A short nap can help to increase your alertness, helping you feel refreshed. A nap becomes bad for our mental health when we use napping to avoid life challenges and our feelings of depression.
If you aren't experiencing any depression, then there's no reason to avoid napping. Napping responsibly is perfectly acceptable, and many people take naps to energize themselves. Of course, it's still going to be a good idea to avoid napping too close to when you normally want to go to sleep. Napping does carry the potential to interrupt your normal sleeping schedule, and this can lead to complications.
However, if you are using napping as a way to avoid your life, that’s when naps can potentially be bad for your mental health. These kinds of naps prevent you from confronting your obstacles and finding healthy coping mechanisms to manage symptoms of depression. It can be hard for some individuals to resist the urge to nap, as the symptoms of depression make it difficult to find the motivation to take on day-to-day obstacles.
Depression And Insomnia
Insomnia is another sleep disorder that can be a symptom of depression or can potentially make symptoms of depression worse. Studies estimate that around 40% of American adults will experience insomnia in their life. Insomnia occurs when an individual has persistent difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, and affecting the quality of sleep. Sometimes the only sleep that people will get when they're depressed will be short depression naps. Depressions may cause your mind to be overly active at times. You may have interrupted sleep to due having racing thoughts or excessive worries. This can make it incredibly difficult to settle down and go to sleep. Depression and insomnia often go hand in hand, and both insomnia and hypersomnia are linked to depressive disorders.
Sleep deprivation and other sleep disorders can ultimately make symptoms of depression worse or bring on new symptoms. Not sleeping enough will make it that much more difficult to get through your everyday responsibilities, potentially causing you to feel more overwhelmed. Many people may experience sleep deprivation depression, which can have just as negative an impact as sleeping all the time. If you're going through depression and have trouble maintaining a normal sleeping schedule, it's important to reach out for help.
Now that you know more about how sleep and depression are linked, it may be helpful to seek treatment if you’re being affected negatively by it. If you aren't already getting treatment for your depression symptoms, talking to a licensed professional can help. It's important, to be honest about the symptoms you’re experiencing. Depression is nothing to be ashamed about, and millions of people seek treatment for it every single year.
Depression symptoms can feel very powerful, and they can even keep you from living your life how you want to. When depression becomes worse, it makes it tough to perform up to your usual standards at work. Some people have even lost jobs due to feeling the need to sleep and hide away due to severe depression. Whether your depression is mild or severe, it's imperative to get treatment so you can overcome it or prevent it from getting worse.
A licensed professional can assist you in overcoming your symptoms of depression and improving your quality of sleep. It may take time to find the perfect treatment for your depression. Your doctor may even prescribe certain antidepressant medications, and they may also recommend talk therapy as a part of a solution. Both of these methods will help you work on your problems to start getting back to living life how you want to.
Why Therapy Is Important
Therapy is important for treating depression for many reasons. It's a great way to address the causes of your depression, and it can help you avoid complications with future depressive episodes. Therapists understand how intense depression can be, and they will provide invaluable tools and resources to help you overcome it.
Learning to cope with depression can be difficult at times, and you may face many challenges, but it’s important to remember you’re not alone. A trusted therapist can help you learn to avoid certain depression triggers and change negative thought patterns. They'll also be able to help you work through any personal issues that might be impacting your depression. For example, many people go through periods of depression due to traumatic events in their life or certain obstacles. If depression has been causing you difficulties in life, having a therapist help you out really will make a difference.
Online Therapy Options Might Work Best
For many people, online therapy options are a great resource to improve their mental health. Online therapy for depression can be an effective tool to get treatment all in the comfort of your own home and at your convenience. When you seek the help you need online; you won't have to worry about leaving your home. It allows you to get help discreetly, and you won't have to worry about office hours.
This online therapy is even going to be more versatile than many other forms of therapy. You'll be able to choose to talk with a therapist on the phone, or you can even make use of video chat options. Patients can even exchange messages with a licensed therapist through text messaging or e-mail. Being able to choose which type of therapy will work best for you can help you recover faster.
A licensed therapist can provide tools and guidance that may help you work through any challenges you may be facing. If you need help managing symptoms of depression, you shouldn't seek solace by taking a depression nap. Sign up for online therapy if you want to start taking control back from the depression that keeps you down.
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