Insomnia and depression are often closely related. The relationship can go both ways: depression can cause insomnia, and insomnia can lead to depression.
Depression drugs are the front-line treatment for most patients, but as the bleakness of depression goes away the sleeplessness often stays.
A team of researchers say the insomnia can be easily solved by altering patients’ prescriptions. They found that pairing the hypnotic sleeping pill Lunesta with serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) may be the ideal approach for depression with insomnia.
The study involved 60 patients diagnosed with depression and insomnia. After one week of taking Prozac, the subjects began combining the drug with Lunesta or a placebo.
Patients who took the sleeping drugs reported a higher health-related quality of life. Depression improved and the patients had less difficulty sleeping.
The AASM reports that insomnia can occur in 85 percent of people with a major depressive episode. Frequent awakenings during the night are typical; waking up early in the morning and being unable to go back to sleep also is common.
Often the insomnia complaint is among the earliest symptoms to appear in a person with a mental health disorder. People often attribute their mental symptoms to poor sleep.
Photo by Max Talbot-Minkin