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Does insomnia cause depression or does depression cause insomnia?

Insomnia, the inability to sleep, and depression, feeling sad / blue / down / flat are two distinct but often overlapping disorders. They share common symptoms, including: lack of motivation, lack of sleep, and fatigue.

About 7.7 million adults in America suffer from what they think is chronic insomnia, but what is actually depression. The opposite is also true. According to the Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation (RLSF), approximately 40% of people who complain about their poor sleep would be diagnosed for depression if sleep disorders were not considered. If a person is treated for insomnia, symptoms of depression may be eased, but not cured.

Common symptoms of depression include:

These can also be caused by a lack of good, quality sleep!

Insomnia includes not just an inability to fall asleep but also continued tiredness after a night’s rest or waking up in the middle of the night.

There is no definite way to confirm what disorder is the primary cause of your symptoms except by consulting a physician like a psychiatrist that understands the close relationship of these two conditions. By getting medical treatment, many find they can improve their sleep quality, mood, and overall quality of life.

Angelo Sambunaris, M.D.

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