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TryingToFindTheAnswer

Atypical Depression Caused By Oversleeping??

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Hello. I'm new here and have been diagnosed as having major depression, recurrent. I believe that I have the atypical sub-type where I overeat, oversleep and have high rejection-sensitivity. I don't have the heavy limbs feeling although I'm lazy as hell and don't want to do anything other than search the internet and figure out how to get out of this hellish nightmare of sadness and despair.

I have a theory to propose and would like some feedback. People with atypical depression oversleep (hypersomnia). It's known that depressed people have too much REM sleep and wake up exhausted and depressed. So... Could it be that the TRUE CAUSE of atypical depression is simply oversleeping? On the weekends I sleep about 10 hours and feel extremely depressed throughout the day. However, on Friday I had about six hours of sleep and felt pretty good that day and didn't feel tired. Is it possible that us atypicals are just getting too much D*** sleep? Could it be that this problem actually has a very simple cause? I work in the technology field and do a lot of troubleshooting. Even if a problem has complex aspects to it the problem usually boils down to something simple. Maybe too much sleep causes you to be depressed, which causes you to eat a lot and get fat, which causes you to have sleep apnea, have less testosterone and more estrogen, which causes you to be emotional, which causes you to have racing thoughts and makes it hard to concentrate, which basically causes what resembles ADHD. I dunno. All of these things are somehow related to depression. It's just a matter of figuring out what causes what in what order.

I've searched the internet and have read that five hours of sleep is enough. I've heard that six hours of sleep is enough. I've heard that people need betweeen 7 and 8 hours of sleep. I've heard that we need 10 hours of sleep. Is it possible that these experts are generalizing and making some people think they need to sleep more than they really do? Afterall, experts don't know what causes depression or how antidepressants work (when they work) although they certainly have tons of theories.

We do know that too little and too much sleep causes depression. We know that depressed people have too much REM sleep. We know that some amount of sleep deprivation lifts the depression until we get too much sleep the next day. Wouldn't that mean too much sleep = too much REM sleep and we atypicals need to sleep less?

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Hello. I'm new here and have been diagnosed as having major depression, recurrent. I believe that I have the atypical sub-type where I overeat, oversleep and have high rejection-sensitivity. I don't have the heavy limbs feeling although I'm lazy as hell and don't want to do anything other than search the internet and figure out how to get out of this hellish nightmare of sadness and despair.

I have a theory to propose and would like some feedback. People with atypical depression oversleep (hypersomnia). It's known that depressed people have too much REM sleep and wake up exhausted and depressed. So... Could it be that the TRUE CAUSE of atypical depression is simply oversleeping? On the weekends I sleep about 10 hours and feel extremely depressed throughout the day. However, on Friday I had about six hours of sleep and felt pretty good that day and didn't feel tired. Is it possible that us atypicals are just getting too much D*** sleep? Could it be that this problem actually has a very simple cause? I work in the technology field and do a lot of troubleshooting. Even if a problem has complex aspects to it the problem usually boils down to something simple. Maybe too much sleep causes you to be depressed, which causes you to eat a lot and get fat, which causes you to have sleep apnea, have less testosterone and more estrogen, which causes you to be emotional, which causes you to have racing thoughts and makes it hard to concentrate, which basically causes what resembles ADHD. I dunno. All of these things are somehow related to depression. It's just a matter of figuring out what causes what in what order.

I've searched the internet and have read that five hours of sleep is enough. I've heard that six hours of sleep is enough. I've heard that people need betweeen 7 and 8 hours of sleep. I've heard that we need 10 hours of sleep. Is it possible that these experts are generalizing and making some people think they need to sleep more than they really do? Afterall, experts don't know what causes depression or how antidepressants work (when they work) although they certainly have tons of theories.

We do know that too little and too much sleep causes depression. We know that depressed people have too much REM sleep. We know that some amount of sleep deprivation lifts the depression until we get too much sleep the next day. Wouldn't that mean too much sleep = too much REM sleep and we atypicals need to sleep less?

Hi, welcome to the forums! :welcomeani:

I'm not sure. I have the atypical presentation too, and sometimes I do feel less tired after only 6 hours of sleep. Though that's not saying much because I still feel a bit tired all the same. The same thing often happens around my cycle, so maybe there is some connection. My mood sometimes is slightly better after sleeping less. However it's not reliable or consistent; I can be just as down afterwards too.

Atypical depression causes us to over-think things (mostly with a negative slant), so maybe that happens in our sleep too. REM sleep is when dreams occur, so maybe we dream more... as that's what mental stimulation translates to when we're asleep. And that increased mental stimulation ends up wearing us out even more because we are not getting rest and restorative sleep. But what I can't explain in this theory then is why sleeping less doesn't wear us out-- we would still be having too many dreams when we are asleep no matter how long, so why would sleeping less 'fix' the problem? Wouldn't we still be worn out from the dreams (for lack of better words) anyways in addition to the lack of sleep and decreased amounts of restorative sleep ? You can't know beforehand when you will be sleeping less, so the body cannot 'self-correct' itself somehow. And it's not like we get a break from our thoughts when we're awake. So no rest there either.

Who knows. I wouldn't rely on it though. Like I said, that improved mood doesn't always happen to me for whatever reason. Plus I get that 'head in a vice' feeling often times too, and that can bring me down as well. I doubt my depression at least is caused by over-sleeping though, and I doubt sleeping less would help me in the long-run... Still interesting to think about. :smile:

I just hope it's not a sign of mild bipolar disorder. Depressive episodes in bipolar disorder tend to take the atypical form. I think having treatment-resistant atypical depression with anxiety is enough for me! :Coopwink:

Edited by funchas

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I think too much of anything that can cause an imbalance in our lives can cause depression, and I'm sure too much sleep can do that too. I've experienced the same thing though. On days I don't have work or school I tend to oversleep and I do tend to feel pretty crappy throughout the day. But on busy days when I don't get more than 5 or 6 hours of sleep I feel ok, even if I feel more physically tired.

And those recommendations for how much sleep humans need is different for everyone. Some of us need only 4 hours while others need 12. This can depend on our age, situation in life and how much stress or other things we're going through in life. Everyone is a little different with different needs. Just like how some of us do well with Prozac while others have a horrid time with it, some of us need more sleep than others.

Edited by IsoZeiss

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Hi all,

not sure if people are still following this thread since it's a few years old. Anyway, I stumbled upon "Tryingtofindtheanswer's" post and I think there's definitely some truth to it.

I've been struggling with depression for years in some form. I was clear of all meds and feeling fairly normal a few months ago with the focus to try and beat this without medication. As such I've been experimenting a lot with Magnesium, Vitamin D, Rhodiola, omega 3 fats on the nutrition side and obviously excercise etc etc... I've found varying results with all the above, even though I hoped one alone would be the elixir to cure all. Still haven't found the combination that just works..

On the sleep side I've always had trouble sleeping. Tried meds, "natural" remedies etc, again with varying results. Some making me feel more groggy and in general none making me wake feeling rested.

One thing I have noticed regarding sleep, is that I do think there is a slight improvement when I have less sleep. On days when I wake after only 4-5hrs sleep AND get up, I do feel slightly more optimistic. Of course this in itself is difficult since resisting the urge to hide back under a warm duvet and avoid the world is really difficult. Most days I cannot resist this urge and so have 3-4 more hours, then wake up feeling worse.

I'm actually writing this on one such occasion. It's 4:00am. Last night I took Melatonin, L-Tryptophan and 5-HTP in the hope to have a good nights sleep. I lay down around 10:30pm.

Around 30mins ago I woke up and went through the nightly ritual of getting up, then laying down again (wide awake) but warm and cozy and keen to shut my eyes and avoid the world, which of course we all would do all day/night if we could.

I forced myself to get up this time and here I am writing this (very long-winded) reply. I definitely feel better than I did yesterday morning when I took the lay back down approach.

I'm going to attempt to keep this up for the next few days and report back (if indeed anyone is still reading the thread). At least writing this kept me vertical. I will NOT lie down again!

Would love to hear others' thoughts and experiences with this and the original theory.

This is my first post since signing up 6years ago. Looking forward to connecting with others in a hope we can all help each other....

"this too shall pass" 

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Hi! I also have atypical depression. There does seem to me to be a relationship between the amount of time I sleep and my mood. I hope this isn't off topic, but I have tried 'sleep deprivation' for 24 hours and tbh couldn't tell for sure if totally going without sleep intentionally like that improved my mood? Maybe a little? I will take note and maybe keep a journal about my amount of time sleeping and my mood. If I notice any improvement or worsening of my mood during the next few days I'll post about it in this thread; thanks so much for your post, subzerohk!  And very nice to meet you!

Edited by mulberrypie

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Hi Mulbberypie,

thanks for your reply and likewise, nice to meet you.

interesting theory, but yes quite OT and certainly not something I would recommend anyone try. 

I think we're all well aware that depression and sleep are very much linked. We NEED sleep. Depriving yourself of sleep for such and extended period sounds like a bad idea.

what I (and I think the OP) was referring to was to get up when your body gives you the signal that you've had enough and not go back to sleep (since it may ultimately make you feel worse) NOT to actively deprive yourself of sleep.

would be interested to hear about your sleep journal and how differing amounts of sleep affect you, but personally I think you should avoid the sleep deprivation route.

hope you feel better.

 

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I don't think it could be said that too much sleep 'causes' depression. Like anyone who sleeps in will get depression.

There does however seem to be a connection between sleep, circadian rhythms etc. and depression.

And altering sleeping paterns could possibly help with depression.

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