Can you be depressed in your sleep?
Depression is a description of mood, a diagnosis, and a state of mind at a particular time of wakefulness. Can you be depressed in your sleep? How is depression separated from normal adolescent misery? Is it OK to talk about depression? How do you talk about depression?
Depression does actually affect sleep patterns. Many young people who suffer with depression will have difficulty getting to sleep, have difficulty staying asleep and often waking up too early before dawn. Consequently, through a depressive experience, it is possible to get into a cycle or pattern of poor sleep that leads to exhaustion, worsening depression of mood and a decline in function at school, work and in relationships. When you sleep, your brain and its constituent nerve cells are resting. The hypothalamus has a region which switches on and off wakefulness (tuberomammillary nucleus) and another region which regulates the sleep cycle (ventrolateral preoptic area). The suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus stimulates the sleep promotion region (ventrolateral preoptic area) when it is dark and when the brain produces more melatonin.
The science of sleep worth thinking about because in depression the normal physiological process of sleep is disrupted and is not always rectified by a prescription for melatonin or circadin.