Depression is a broad catch-all term that can mean different things to different people and manifest itself in a variety of ways. For example, people who suffer from depression may want to sleep 20 hours a day, or they may not be able to sleep more than a few minutes at a time. There is no specific sleep problem that signifies depression, but insomnia is one symptom of depression.
Sometimes the problem of insomnia and depression are so intertwined that the question becomes somewhat like that of the “chicken and the egg.” Did the depression cause the insomnia, or did the insomnia cause the depression?
It is well known in medical circles that drugs the relieve depression do not necessarily relieve insomnia and that drugs that relieve insomnia do not necessarily relieve depression. That the two problems are related isn’t questioned. The medical establishment mostly agree that depression and insomnia are intertwined. The question is how and what can be done to relieve both? There simply is not a definitive answer available at this time.
Even though depression and insomnia are related, doctors treat each problem separately. There is a greater tendency today for doctors to make use of sleep therapists, sleep clinics, and psychotherapy than there once was. The health relationship between the mind and the body is more widely accepted by Western medical practitioners now than was once the case.
Eastern medical practitioners have recognized the mind/body health connection for about the last 5,000 years, and the treatment that Eastern medical practitioners use to relieve both depression and insomnia is restoration of the flow of Qi and the balance of yin and yang. Eastern medicine uses herbs and acupuncture to achieve this optimal balance. At the moment, eastern medicine has a decided advantage for relieving both depression and insomnia in patients who suffer from both.