Science

Insomnia Linked To Severe Depression Plus Brain At Risk

By Monica U Santos , Nov 18, 2016 03:27 AM EST
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Insomnia has been thought of as secondary to other disorders such as depression or being stress. The idea was that you became depressed and stressed, then your sleep got messed up as a consequence for that. But it is not always the case. When you look at it vice versa, it is also true. So if a person suffers from insomnia, he/she might have depression that is also linked to brain problems.

Understanding Insomnia

Insomnia is also known as sleeplessness. It is a sleep disorder where people experience trouble in sleeping, specially at night. They may have difficulty falling asleep, or staying asleep as long as desired. Insomnia is typically followed by daytime sleepiness, low energy, irritability, and a depressed mood. It can be short term, lasting for days or weeks, or long term, lasting more than a month.

Insomnia carries more than double the risk of depression, according to a meta-analysis of more than 2 dozen studies published in the journal BMC Psychiatry. Some research shows that insomnia can be 2.3 times more likely to develop depression and can also affect brain structure. Overall, 26 of the 34 total studies suggested a highly positive relationship between insomnia and depression.

Insomnia Linked To Severe Depression

The researchers combed PubMed, Embase, Web of Science and China National Knowledge Structure databases through observational cohort studies investigating the association between insomnia and depression. They found that adults (ages 21 and above) with insomnia were more likely than others to have experienced anxiety, depression and brain defect earlier in life.

According to Medical Daily, it make sense to those who have experienced depression and found that thoughts of distressing events keep them awake at night. The results held true regardless of age, sex, geographical location, the definition of insomnia or measurement of depression used in the study, length of follow-up, study quality, or year of the study's publication.

“Sleep disturbance may play a key role in the development of depression,” the authors suggested regarding potential mechanisms. “Experimental studies showed that sleep loss may result in cognitive and affective alterations that lead to depression risk.” Also on report that depressed patients are less likely to respond to treatment than those without sleep problems.

 

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