Sleep Disturbances in Depression

Sleep Med Clin. 2015 Mar;10(1):17-23. doi: 10.1016/j.jsmc.2014.11.009. Epub 2014 Dec 12.


Major depressive disorder is frequently accompanied by sleep disturbances such as insomnia or hypersomnia and polysomnographic sleep findings of increased rapid-eye-movement sleep and decreased slow wave sleep. For many patients, insomnia persists even after mood symptoms have been adequately treated. These patients have poorer outcomes than patients without sleep problems. These outcomes suggest that overlapping neural mechanisms regulate sleep and mood. Treatment of these patients can incorporate sedating antidepressants, nonbenzodiazepine γ-aminobutyric acid agonists, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Sleep restriction has been found to improve mood in depressed patients; however, the benefits typically disappear after recovery sleep.

Keywords: Antidepressant; Cognitive behavioral therapy; Hypersomnia; Hypnotic; Insomnia; Major depressive disorder; Sleep.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Comorbidity
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / physiopathology*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / therapy
  • Humans
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / diagnosis
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / therapy