Depression is a common health issue that millions of people around the world suffer from. You may recognize the emotional aspects to the illness, but did you know there are physical symptoms as well? Some don’t realize how a change in sleep patterns can indicate a depression, but it is one of the more prevalent symptoms.

Physical symptoms for depression include having regular headaches or an increase in pain associated with them, back pain, muscle and joint pains, and fatigue or exhaustion. What many people don’t realize is that their inability to get restful sleep, or getting too much sleep, is also associated with depression.

Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, is something many people contend with each year. Generally the disorder begins as the days get shorter, there’s less natural sunlight, and the weather begins to change. Quite simply, people affected by SAD often claim they want to hibernate until spring. Some research suggests that up to 90% of all people experiencing some type of depression also have a sleep disorder of some type.

The quality of sleep you get each night can also lead to depression. If you never reach the important rapid eye movement (REM) state, your body will feel as if it hasn’t rested. Without REM sleep, your body also cannot begin the recuperative stage of sleep where the body actually begins to heal itself.

So, your normal sleep pattern has been disrupted for a little while and you’re feeling the effects of lost sleep. What are some of the other symptoms of depression you should look for? Your eating habits may change, either eating too much or too little, you may have lost interest in spending time with friends or family, or you may feel sad most of the time and can’t shake it.

Other depression symptoms include feeling overwhelmed, feeling hopeless, and losing your sense of self-esteem. You may also feel mentally and physically fatigued as well as lose interest in sex. In severe cases, you may contemplate suicide.

Does having insomnia for a couple of nights indicate you have depression? Most likely it doesn’t. However, if you haven’t slept well in over two weeks or you’re sleeping so much that it’s affecting your life, you may want to pay a visit to your doctor. They will be able to talk with you, run tests if necessary, and make a diagnosis. After the diagnosis is made, they can prescribe a course of treatment that will be best suited for you.

It’s important to recognize how a change in sleep patterns can indicate a depression. If you or a loved one is having problems sleeping, it’s best to see a doctor so they can make a proper diagnosis. They will also be able to help restore your sleep patterns and begin to feel like yourself again.