Mental Health Spotlight: Treating Insomnia and Depression


Sleep Health | Sleep Review

Healthline: There is a correlation between insomnia and depression, but there are many ways to treat both at the same time.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This short-term therapy is the first-line therapy for insomnia and is also often used to treat depression. CBT is directed by a psychiatrist who will help you identify and change thoughts and behaviors related to insomnia or depression. It can be combined with other techniques to help you sleep better, including sleep hygiene and relaxation techniques.

Relaxation techniques. Practices like deep breathing, visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, and biofeedback are often recommended to treat insomnia. A 2020 meta-analysis found that relaxation techniques are safe and can reduce symptoms of depression if practiced regularly.

A practice. A meta-analysis from 2021 found that regular exercise improved sleep quality, the severity of insomnia, and daytime sleepiness. And a 2016 review of 22 studies found that exercise was effective in treating depression, especially when combined with medication.

Mind-body exercises. A 2019 systematic review suggests that practices such as yoga, tai chi, qigong, and meditation can improve symptoms of insomnia and, therefore, overall health. A 2017 review concluded that yoga can be helpful in reducing depression, although most studies on the subject have been small and short-lived.

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