We have known for many years that there is a relationship between insomnia and depression. 80% of patients with depression suffer from insomnia. 40% of patients with chronic insomnia are clinically depressed. This is not coincidental as chronic insomnia may predate depression by many years. It is important to know that if one suffers from depression and the insomnia is not treated it will tend to persist. As a result, the rate of relapse of the depression is very high.
There are several ways to address insomnia and depression. One is to use cognitive behavioral therapy. These are techniques that combine behavioral modifications with techniques that try to eliminate dysfunctional beliefs about sleep. There are also sedating antidepressant medications that can treat the depression and the insomnia at the same time. Finally, the newer sleep aides such as Ambien and Lunesta have been found to be very effective, when given in concert with standard antidepressants.