Eliminating Insomnia Doubles Depression Recovery

Blog-Eliminating Insomnia Doubles Depression Recovery

Affecting more than 18 million Americans each year, depression is now the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and according to government statistics, more than half of people with depression are also plagued by insomnia.

A report from a series of sleep and depression studies funded by the National Institute of Mental Health showed that addressing and curing insomnia may double one’s ability to fully recover from depression.

Relieve Insomnia, Cure Depression

The report originated from a team at Ryerson University in Toronto, where 66 patients were studied over a treatment period of 8 weeks, using talk therapy to resolve insomnia, rather than sleep medication.

The results were outstanding and further confirmed the findings of a similar pilot study:
• 87% of those who relieved insomnia through biweekly talk therapy sessions also resolved their depression, supported by either an antidepressant drug or placebo.
• Participants who were unable to relieve their insomnia were half as likely to resolve their depression.

How Did the Participants Relieve Insomnia?

Along with talk therapy, researchers taught participants a technique called cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), and according to the study’s author, Dr. Colleen Carney, the objective is to, “Curb this idea that sleeping requires effort, that it’s something you have to fix. People get in trouble when they begin to think they have to do something to get sleep.”
CBT-I teaches patients to:

• Establish a regular wake-up time and stick to it.
• Get out of bed during waking periods.
• Avoid eating, reading, watching TV or similar activities in bed.
• Avoid daytime napping.

Treating Underlying Issues

Similar studies and our own experience treating patients has shown us that rumination, or replaying the same thoughts over and over in your head, plays an important role in both depression and insomnia. Rumination, insomnia, and depression are totally interconnected.

We have seen that this type of rumination is extremely common in those with untreated and undertreated overfocused ADD, anxiety, and depression along with having a brain type that leans toward compulsive, or repetitive behaviors and beliefs, often times negative. Having enough repetitive negative thoughts will successfully sow the seeds of depression over the long-term.

We Can Help

The Amen Clinics Method takes the time to address depression, insomnia, and sleep disorders with the right kinds of treatment – instead of masking the symptoms with a medication alone – producing far better recovery rates. Call us today at 888-288-9834, or tell us more about your situation to learn if treatment at Amen Clinics may be right for you.


  1. I suffer from insomnia and have been for years. I’ve also have depression which I take Lexapro for. I had some stressful events in life, not much support from family (except my 3 sons). I moved to Florida about 7 months ago to Florida to help out my mother & stepfather (who are elderly) after retiring from a stressful job, I fell at work and ended up.having a left knee replacement after 14 years there). I’m also an alcoholic who’s been in recovery for the past 12 years (A A). I’m one of those people who dwell on negative thoughts like you mentioned in the article. Especially worry about finsnces. Everything plays over and over in MY mind so I usually have problems falling & staying asleep. I usually get up 3 or 4 times a night. I have a prescription for Ambien but so have to take it every night to sleep. I Was thinking of going to one of those sleep study centers to see if it would help. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated thanks.

    Comment by Diane B. — February 2, 2018 @ 2:29 AM

  2. Hi Dianne, Dr. Amen has a very helpful product called neurolink which will help with overall calm mental state. For sleep, dr.murray’s chewable sleep tablets combined with pro health theanine calm- plex found on amazon are helpful for sleep. Being able to get into a meditative state is crucial for you so fhu.com has a cure stress device which can get you into that state. Itunes and amazon also has yoga nidra cds for stress and trauma relief which will also help. Walking in nature, prayer, spending time with positive people and music, pool/hot tub/sauna/epsom salt baths, vegetable smoothies and green powders will further benefit. Hope this helps-Chris

    Comment by Chris M. — February 2, 2018 @ 12:40 PM

  3. Also, calm magnesium and avoiding computer/stimulating tv at night and qi gong helps too.

    Comment by Chris M. — February 2, 2018 @ 2:50 PM

  4. Dr Amen doesn’t talk about Adrenalin or how Adrenalin dominance can be a factor in all of these symptoms.
    ADD stim MEDS. Do you have any info on his balancing hormones can help??

    Comment by Pam — February 3, 2018 @ 5:33 AM

  5. Meant to say ADD stim meds only make this Adrenalin/cortisol dominance worse

    Comment by Pam — February 3, 2018 @ 5:34 AM

  6. A few things that have helped me

    1. Melatonin at bedtime
    2. No Caffeine afternoon
    3. Camomile tea in the evening
    4. no electronics after 8 pm
    5. Cool bedroom
    6. Cardio exercise- walking works too..

    Comment by Jeanne S — February 3, 2018 @ 6:02 AM

  7. Thank you for this instructive article which connects insomnia to depression. I applaud the concept of bi-weekly talk therapy rather than medication and the positive approach of teaching a technique of cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia to those experiencing insomnia which can be empowering.

    Helping people with insomnia to change their perspective from a problem to a new way of seeing that insomnia is not a problem to fix. We can learn to take a kinder and gentler approach with ourselves. Meditation can also be helpful in easing one into sleep along with the four points listed in the article.

    Another very important point is that rumination, insomnia, and depression are totally interconnected. We must ultimately have the courage to address and face our underlying issues that keep us in the “merry-go-round of insomnia, rumination, and depression.” There is Hope for a better life for each of us when we choose to be honest, open and willing with ourselves and others and to stay the course of change and opportunity for growth.

    Comment by Susan D. Gorman, M.A., SEP — February 3, 2018 @ 10:41 AM

  8. continuing my sentence, where it is hard for me too sleep on Saturdays, because I sleep too much during the day. I tried Ambien and got up to go to the bathroom and fell on the floor. I am using a sleep aid called Restoril generic name is Temazepam 15mg. I have been worried about finances too, since I haven’t been able to work. I went to a sleep study and they said that I have sleep apnea, but if I lose some weight I think the sleep apnea would be solved.

    Comment by Hi Diane , I can totally relate to your insomnia. There is a pattern going on where I will sleep too much on Saturday and then I can't sleep at nite, like today. This happens 3 to 4 days a week and I can't get a job unless it falls on the days — February 4, 2018 @ 1:44 AM

  9. Thank you Chris, I am going to order neurolink and try that, I do take magnesium but when I can’t sleep on go on the computer and read comments like yours because I know I won’t sleep until sometime tonite.

    Comment by Hi Diane , I can totally relate to your insomnia. There is a pattern going on where I will sleep too much on Saturday and then I can't sleep at nite, like today. This happens 3 to 4 days a week and I can't get a job unless it falls on the days — February 4, 2018 @ 1:50 AM

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