Depression is one of the most common ailments of our time. The CDC estimates that just under 10% of the US population is depressed at any one time; so many people are afflicted with depression, in fact, that it is the leading cause of disability in the country. With such a widespread and varied group of patients, methods of treatment vary widely as well. Medication and therapy, while certainly the best-known treatments, are far from the only ways we have to combat mental illness. Recent research suggests that depression can also be tackled by instead treating patients’ insomnia.
Depression often accompanies other mental and physical maladies. One of its more common attendants is sleep disorders: as many as 60% of adults with depression also suffer from symptoms of insomnia, and a 2011 study established that there was a link between the two disorders rather than it being a matter of shared symptoms. As insomnia places stress on the mind and body much like depression does, this can make life even more difficult for depressed patients already struggling to overcome a daunting obstacle to their ability to function.