How well you’re sleeping can impact how well you’re feeling. “I commonly see a lot of sleep disorders that are linked to depression,” said Dr. Jose Colon, a sleep medicine physician with Lee Health.
Sleep and depression are completely intertwined. “It’s bi-directional actually because lack of sleep can lead to depressive symptoms, but at the same time depressive symptoms can affect your sleep as well,” he said.
If a patient is battling depression, they can have changes to their sleep schedule and develop unhealthy sleeping habits, like sleeping too much or not sleeping enough. “Medications have a role in the treatment of both sleep disorders and mood disorders, and sometimes they can be used interchangeably,” said Dr. Colon.
Lifestyle changes like increasing physical activity can also improve your mood and sleep. “Increased exercise has been shown to decrease depression scores, but increased exercise has also been shown to improve sleep quality,” Dr. Colon said.
Doctors also encourage patients to limit foods like potatoes, white bread, and pasta. “High glycemic diets have been associated with more depressive symptoms, but high glycemic diets also make it so that you have some sleepiness or disrupted sleep during the evening,” he said.
Making changes to your lifestyle and sleep habits can help to improve how you feel and how you sleep.