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Poor sleep for patients with depression

Nurses should pay more attention to the sleep patterns of depressed patients, research suggests.

An abstract presented at the summer meeting of the British Association of Psychotherapists showed that 97% of 513 people with depression had trouble sleeping.

Almost all of those who reported trouble getting to sleep also said they found it hard to concentrate in the day, felt continually exhausted and often took a daytime nap.

More than half of participants said their lack of sleep affected their quality of life "a lot" or "very much".

Professor David Nut, an investigator from the University of Bristol said: "There is a clear need for more successful management of depression-related sleep disturbance, in order to improve quality of life in these patients."

Chief Executive of the Depression Alliance Emer O'Neill said that disturbed sleep is "incredibly debilitating" to people who may already be struggling got cope.

He adds: "Particularly worrying is the proportion of people who are on antidepressant medication but still cite significant problems with sleep that have a huge impact on their wellbeing."

British Association of Psychotherapists

Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"I am not a nurse, but my experience of relatively short bouts of depression in myself and others has been linked in some way to sleep deprivation. Mothers with demanding babies and lifestyles, pain from an ailment, anxiety and hot sweats during menopause and long hours at work, with little time to switch off, can result in loss of sleep. It seems a reasonable link that sleep deprivation, leads to depression, not necessarily the other way round and finding and working on the cause of sleep deprivation may well be a more healthy option than antidepressants, in many cases" - Name and address supplied