Update of sleep alterations in depression

Sleep Sci. 2014 Sep;7(3):165-9. doi: 10.1016/j.slsci.2014.09.015. Epub 2014 Sep 27.


Sleep disturbances in depression are up to 70%. Patients frequently have difficulty in falling asleep, frequent awakenings during the night and non-restorative sleep. Sleep abnormalities in depression are mainly characterized by increased rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and reduced slow wave sleep. Among the mechanisms of sleep disturbances in depression are hyperactivation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, CLOCK gene polymorphism and primary sleep disorders. The habenula is a structure regulating the activities of monoaminergic neurons in the brain. The hyperactivation of the habenula has also been implicated, together with sleep disturbances, in depression. The presence of depression in primary sleep disorders is common. Sleep disturbances treatment include pharmacotherapy or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Keywords: Depression; Sleep disturbances.

Publication types

  • Review