Can Lack of Sleep Cause Depression? Insomnia and Depression

Insomnia and Depression:

Can lack of sleep cause depression? Lack of sleep is both a sign of and a cause of depression. Insomnia and depression often coexist in depressed patients. Let’s take a look at the causes and some possible remedies for insomnia and depression.


Anxieties and Worries: Sometimes life throws us curved balls. The unexpected can happen. We think everything is going along as planned when a bomb shell enters in and sweeps the rug out from under us. Sudden decisions have to be made; plans have to be changed; and the course of our lives can be quickly interrupted. This type of anxiety can cause sleep loss. Insomnia and depression then become downward spirals that spin off of each other. We toss and turn as we weigh our lives over and over in the wee hours of the night. The next day is then horrible to face, leading to more sleep loss and more depression. Insomnia and depression become lose-lose twin antagonists.

Lack of B vitamins: B vitamins are crucial in the maintenance of adequate levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. When neurotransmitters are low, sleep can become an issue. Insomnia and depression are the result. Treatment consists of the administration of adequate levels of the B vitamins. It is important to take them during the day, since B vitamins are energizing and can cause sleep loss at night if they are consumed in the evening.

Low levels of Iodine: Iodine is the purple mineral that enables the body to completely absorb the B vitamins. Without iodine, B vitamins are of little use to the body because they will not be absorbed well. Without iodine, insomnia and depression join forces to create sleep deprivation. Treatment consists of daily iodine supplementation.

Low or high thyroid levels: An imbalance in the thyroid can cause sleep disturbance. High levels can cause irritability. Low levels will cause inadequate sleep and sleep deprivation. Insomnia and depression are then exacerbated. Treatment consists of daily thyroid supplementation.

Inadequate ability to digest foods, especially proteins:  Poor digestion can cause insomnia and brain fog because when the body does not produce enough hydrochloric acid, the stomach cannot adequately digest food, causing sleep disturbance. After age thirty, most of us begin to lose hydrochloric acid production, which then affects digestion and sleep. Treatment includes supplements containing hydrochloric acid.

According to the National Institute for Mental Health, depression can both be the cause of insomnia and insomnia can increase depression. When sleeplessness becomes an issue, managing everyday tasks becomes much more challenging. Jobs can be on the line; Relationships can flounder; and health can deteriorate.  This is a lose-lose situation.

I went through this a few years back and I can attest to the severe nature of insomnia as related to depression. Insomnia and depression are indeed related.

If you are someone you know is suffering from major depression, showing signs of depression, is manic depressive, or is looking for how to deal with depression please subscribe to Barb’s blog. She has advice on such topics as, coping with depression, teen depression, anxiety and depression, depression in children,  and other types of depression disorders. You can visit her website at


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1 comment to Can Lack of Sleep Cause Depression? Insomnia and Depression

  • This is something I also struggle with. Here’s a blog article that sums it up for me written from the point of view of someone who struggles with this and what actually goes through their minds during episodes of insomnia. I think it would be useful for the medical community to compare what people are thinking when they cant sleep and how it relates (or doesn’t relate) to depression. Maybe some people are “working” or “excited” and have no depression. Or maybe they are. Maybe only people with disparaging thoughts are depressed. Or maybe not. It could be interesting to discover what types of thoughts are associated with mental illness.

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