Summer 2007
ASK THE EXPERT : Sleep and Depression
Sleep and Depression
Dmitry Lvovsky, MD
Dmitry Lvovsky, MD

"When I told my doctor that I had been feeling deeply depressed for the past few months, one of the steps he recommended was that I see a physician who specializes in sleep disorders. What in the world is the connection between depression and sleep?"

Dmitry Lvovsky, MD, Medical Director of Bridgeport Hospital's Center for Sleep Medicine, responds:

The link between depression and insomnia (lack of sleep) lies in the fact that when people are depressed, their bodies often have difficulty regulating the hormones that affect sleep patterns.

But which comes first, the chicken or the egg? Does depression cause insomnia, or does insomnia cause depression? It can work both ways—sleeplessness may be a cause, or a symptom, of depression. Recent studies suggest that treating insomnia may improve both the likelihood and the rate of recovery in people being treated for major depression.

Center Sleep MedicineTreatment of sleep problems begins with overnight testing at a sleep center that is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine—such as the Center for Sleep Medicine at Bridgeport Hospital.

Once the cause of your problem has been established, the best treatments can be determined. These may be medications, behavioral changes, a small mask worn at night to keep your breathing passages open—or a combination of these methods.

A good night's sleep is important for all of us, but it can be especially important in helping you to battle your depression.

For a brochure and a Sleep Quiz to help you decide if a sleep evaluation could help you, or for a referral to an expert physician affiliated with Bridgeport Hospital, call us toll free, 24/7, at 1-888-357-2396.

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