Depressed man with hands covering his face before depression counseling  with Empower Counseling in Birmingham Alabama

Depression and sleep issues are closely linked. Individuals with insomnia have a 10 times greater chance of developing depression than those without insomnia. 

The importance of sleep for your mental wellbeing can not be over emphasized. 

Poor sleep can contribute to depression and depression can contribute to sleep problems.

According to Patrick H. Finan, Ph.D. , sleep researcher at Johns Hopkins University, “Poor sleep may create difficulties regulating emotions that, in turn, may leave you more vulnerable to depression in the future—months or even years from now. And depression itself is associated with sleep difficulties such as shortening the amount of restorative slow-wave sleep a person gets each night.”

If you are experiencing depression or anxiety, not only is it harder to fall asleep at night, you may also wake and find it difficult to go back to sleep in the middle of the night.

When it comes to sleep, it is important to spot problems early and take action.

If you are having difficulty:

Falling asleep,

Staying asleep,

Having physical pain that is keeping you awake,

Or if you sleep times have drastically changed (You are falling asleep much later and getting up much later),

Or if you see these common signs of depression:

  • Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism
  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
  • Decreased energy or fatigue
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment 
  • Moving or talking more slowly
  • Appetite and/or weight changes 

Then it is time to seek help. Empower Counseling uses proven methods to help you break free from depression. Kathryn is advanced trained in Acceptance Commitment Therapy for depression


Empower Counseling will not only help you with the thoughts that are contributing to your depression, but also with your behavior. Once your sleep is affected by depression,  it is difficult to change your behavior alone. It is a good idea to reach out for help. Acceptance Commitment Therapy is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy. Kathryn will help you let go of the unhealthy habits that are helping to feed your depression and establish new habits to get you back on the right track. 


  1. Develop consistent sleep and wake times. It is difficult to get a good night’s sleep is you are going to bed at different times every night and waking at different times each day.
  2. Exercise. Your body needs to move. You should be exerting physical energy during the day to help you rest at night. 
  3. Get outside more.  Being outside in the sunlight, especially in the morning will help you restore your circadian rhythm or natural time clock.
  4. Refrain from working in the room where you sleep if at all possible. 
  5. Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake. It is best to stop drinking alcohol at least 3 hours before bed.

For even more on sleep visit the Today Show website.

Kathryn will help you change your behavior so you can enjoy consistent restorative sleep and move away from depression.

Empower Counseling offers anxiety counseling and counseling for difficult life transitions, as well as, depression therapy. If you are a college student, teen, young adult or professional, Empower Counseling is here to help you with individual counseling in-person and online. If you attend the University of Alabama or Auburn University and want to experience counseling in the privacy of your dorm or apartment, reach out to Empower Counseling.

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