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Can sleep deprivation make you feel depressed...

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
even if you're not? Is there a way to tell the difference?

My 13 month old wakes a lot at night (co-sleeping, nursing) and I seriously haven't had a decent (not good, just decent) night's sleep in about a year and a half (preggo sleep was crap too). I know that lack of sleep can wear you down but can it make you feel depressed? I'm trying to figure out what's going on with me.
post #2 of 9

Yes!

Sleep deprivation affects your brain in multiple ways. It makes you short tempered, confused, and if you drive a lot you are a danger to others. I was sleep deprived for years before I was put into a sleep study. I drove a bus and was nodding off at the wheel because of sleep deprivation.

I don't think they can drug you to sleep when you need to wake up to take care of a baby though. For me, the only way I will sleep is to take something that will get me there. I don't know if I'll have to take this stuff for the rest of my life or not, but except for the PMS days it makes a real difference for me to be able to sleep. In your case about all you can do is sleep when the baby sleeps.

I know that isn't a lot of help in your case, but the short version is 'the answer is yes.'
post #3 of 9
In my case, it absolutely does. In fact, sleep deprivation mimics clinical depression for me so much that I have to stop and think, if I feel irrationally miserable, helpless, and panicky -- have I been getting enough sleep?

That first year with a baby was rough.
post #4 of 9

How to tell the difference, maybe

I totally agree. When I'm tired it's so much easier to feel overwhelmed by all the little things that you might otherwise be able to put aside. I start to feel hopeless and that everything sucks. When I get enough sleep, I'm usually a pretty optimistic person, so when I start to feel like my sense of humor is gone for good, I have to remind myself that my mood turns around with a good night of sleep. (And with a 3 month old, that usually means 8 hours in bed with about 6 1/2 hours of actually sleeping). So, how to tell the difference between sleep deprivation blues and clinical depression? I think the standard is that you have to feel substantially depressed (not enjoying the things you usually enjoy, appetite changes, irritability, sadness, etc.) for two weeks straight before you should consider clinical depression. If you're worried about real depression you should see a doctor, but probably the real problem is how to get more sleep. Good luck!
post #5 of 9
Yep. One thing that will help, whenever you do get a chance to sleep, make sure you're sleeping in total darkness. Buy shades for your bedroom windows or light-blocking liner fabric for your curtains.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the responses. I told dh a while back that all I wanted for mother's day was to be able to stay in bed all day. Bring the babe to me to nurse but that's it. I think I'll mention it again.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Yep. One thing that will help, whenever you do get a chance to sleep, make sure you're sleeping in total darkness. Buy shades for your bedroom windows or light-blocking liner fabric for your curtains.
Our room is very dark, we've hung black fabric over our window (that also has a shade). Anything for 5 more minutes of sleep!

Jill
post #7 of 9
Quote:
all I wanted for mother's day was to be able to stay in bed all day.
That would be the very best Mother's Day present ever! I would kind of enjoy it myself, and I'm not even sleep-deprived anymore.
post #8 of 9
Absolutely. Also, make sure you are getting the best quality sleep when you are sleeping: nose free of boogers, comfortable pillow, no tonsils in the way of breathing...all of that sort of thing.
post #9 of 9
Yes! Fan running if it's hot, fresh pillowcase, glass of water by the bed so you don't have to get up ...
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