Antidepressants and Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep makes a big difference in everyone’s mood and ability to function their best the next day. For children and adults who struggle with mood regulation difficulties or depression, sleep can be even more critical. Mental health professionals often discuss about sleep hygiene with clients of all ages in order to promote optimal functioning. With clients struggling with depression, improving sleep quality is often thought to be one piece of a multi-pronged treatment approach that may also include psychotherapy, antidepressant medication, and other interventions. In fact, recent research has suggested that getting enough sleep plays an important role in helping antidepressants work most effectively.

Recent research has suggested that the number of hours depressed adults sleep affects how quickly they respond to antidepressant medications (Arnedt et al., 2016). After taking antidepressant medication for two months, adults who slept eight hours per night experienced less severe depressive symptoms than adults who slept six hours per night. The depressive symptoms remitted more quickly for adults sleeping eight hours per night than those sleeping six hours per night. According to the researchers, getting more sleep may help antidepressants have a faster and more significant impact in reducing depressive symptoms.

Sleep seems to play an important role in reducing depressive symptoms, along with psychotherapy and medication as appropriate. If you need support in managing depressive symptoms and/or sleep-related concerns, please contact Georgetown Psychology Associates to learn more about our services.