Many people underestimate the impact of sleep on mood. Just one night of poor sleep can impact mood the next day. When it comes to your mental and physical health, sleep is the #1 most important thing! And if poor sleep patterns become chronic, feeling lousy can start to look a lot like depression, for sure. So chronic tiredness can actually be the culprit that leads to depression in the long run.

So how do you know for sure which it is? First, if you are getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night and you still wake up feeling like small tasks are difficult, you lack motivation you once had, and fun things don’t bring you any joy, you may be suffering from depression. Sleep problems and depression can go hand in hand as one can affect or cause the other, but if your sleep patterns aren’t bad and you have signs of depression, that may be to blame.

If you have a hard time going to sleep, if you don’t get 7-9 hours pretty consistently, if you need to use stimulants like caffeine or energy drinks to get through your day, then being tired is likely part of the problem.

Depression is also marked by rigid, negative thinking. Thoughts like “I’ll never get this done,” “I can’t handle my life” or “I’m a horrible person” are a hallmark of a brain that is in a depressive state. If there are no rigid, negative thoughts and sleep is a problem, it’s best to improve your sleep habits and see if you feel better.

In today’s world of 24/7 access to social media, entertainment, and content via phones, TVs, laptops, and tablets, it’s no wonder that people of all ages are struggling to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night. So, if you have any difficulties with sleep or you think you or someone you love might be depressed, let us know and we can help.