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Tiredness => Depressive thoughts

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hey SF,

I'd like to preface by saying that I'm a fairly successful, well-liked individual who is truly grateful for a lot of circumstances I've been blessed with. That being said, I have a slight conundrum... I require a lot of sleep, and I'm perfectly happy when I get 8.5 - 9 hours of sleep. On days when I get under 7 hours of sleep, however, I am completely and utterly depressed. Its not just that I feel bad (fatigue is supposed to feel bad), but my outlook on relationships and life and general takes a COMPLETE 180* (you can guess the rest).

Clearly I am very careful to get a lot of sleep. I talked to the doctor about this dependence and she pressured me into admitting that I was depressed, but I think that's a slight oversimplification... I'm perfectly happy, normal, and great to be around when I'm well-rested.

can anyone relate to my story?
post #2 of 16
I know that sleeping a lot can be a sign of depression. What you describe sounds weird though. I just wonder how you find time to sleep that much. I get less than 7 most days and I'm absolutely fine.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Right-o, but I slept a lot when I didn't feel this way (puberty onward, at least). Depressed people sleep a lot and are still depressed, when I sleep a lot I'm in a great mood. And some of the other common depressive symptoms don't quite match. I've always had different activity preferences, but certain activities are still quite enjoyable (talking to women, volunteering). Granted, I am fairly hyper-rational and don't really have to deal with emotions and such in day-to-day affairs... I'm very realistic about things, which is sometimes associated with depression... I don't get down on myself, though, I'm just honest about the likelihood of certain things happening and such.
post #4 of 16
depressed people sleep BECAUSE they're depressed. it's tiring and helps avoid dealing with the pain of life. people don't usually get depressed because they sleep too much (as far as I know). OP, I can somewhat relate. I find i really do prefer about 7-8 hours and less then 6 and I'm usually pretty grumpy, quick to temper, have trouble concentrating or making decisions, etc... although I think that's all sort of within normal bounds. ever tried sleeping pills? maybe having shorter but deeper sleep might work?
post #5 of 16
well I can say the complete opposite. if I get more than 6.5 hrs of sleep a night, I am lethargic and a general pile of shit when it comes to motivation.
post #6 of 16
I'm like the OP. I need 8-9 hours a night. I feel okay if I get less, but I have to wake up no earlier than 11am. Just not much of a morning person I guess. Back to back nights of < 8 hours and I feel borderline depressed and anxious.
post #7 of 16
I've experienced the same thing for a few years now.

I started law school this year and it's been harder than I expected because I often don't have time to sleep as much as I'd like. But, the less sleep I get, the more difficult it gets to do the things that are preventing me from sleeping!

I've been exercising more, taking vitamin D and fish oil regularly, and drinking (a little) less, which seems to be helping somewhat. Still, nothing is quite the same as getting eight hours of sleep a night.
post #8 of 16
Try L-Tyrosine. Maybe some Pycnogenol. If not, dextroamphetamines.
post #9 of 16
You're not the only one who's made the connection too. One interesting thing I read was how heavy sugar consumption can also trigger episodes of depression in some people - something to do with the hormones.
post #10 of 16
I can definitely relate to this; I feel like shit if I don't get around 9 hrs of sleep, which is very rare to do with my work schedule. It makes it tough to get through the day and coffee is pretty much just a temp fix. I really think it's just a biological thing, every body is programmed differently to react to sleep. Some require more than others, and I don't know if you can change that or not.
post #11 of 16
get some exercse....
post #12 of 16
I can relate to you OP. In college I used to sleep 9-10 hours a day. 1AM - 10AM was my usual schedule. I felt great. When I graduated and got a job I started waking up at 6 - 7 and was miserable. I truly couldn't function and longed to be back in college. I hated work and I hated life in general. This continued for a year or so until I decided to become very strict in terms of following a schedule. I started working out and planned out my day from beginning to end with no hour unaccounted for. Most days I don't have time for anything besides eating, working, going to the gym and sleeping. Mondays and Thursday I use for "other" activities. So far this has kept me sane. By going to sleep at 10PM everyday and getting up at 7AM I can get my 9 hours. But honestly, following this rigorous lifestyle is tiring itself. Life isn't easy. Society makes us sacrifice too much.
post #13 of 16
Everyone requires different amounts of sleep. The 8 hours is just an average.
As you age, the quality of sleep diminishes so you generally need longer hours to get the same rested feeling you had on less sleep as a child.

I now need 9 hours most nights or get sick easily and am just not as sharp as when fully rested.

OP,

Get what your body needs and don't worry about it. If your 180 was there even when rested, your Dr. might be right, otherwise ignore the depression diagnosis.
post #14 of 16
I have this problem too. 8-9 hours, I am golden. Going to feel great the next day. 6-7, I can hang in there, might be less chipper, but still alright. 5-6, and I am going to feel anxious / be fighting bad thoughts all day. Back to back low sleep nights, and it gets worse. I am very conscious of it and am not really sure there is anything I can do about it.
post #15 of 16
Have any of you guys thought about/heard about "polyphasic" sleep scheduling? Tim Ferris talks about it in his new book "The Four Hour Body." Just interested if anyone had first-hand experience w/ this, wish my schedule was flexible enough.
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