Before chalking your mood problems up to depression, perhaps you should consider a sleep disorder. Many common symptoms are used to identify someone with depression. These include:
- changes in sleep (sleeping more or sleeping less)
- decreased interest levels
- feelings of guilt
- decreased energy levels
- poor concentration
- changes in appetite (eating more or eating less)
- increased psychomotor agitation (wringing hands, pacing, etc.)
- thoughts of hurting oneself or others
- feeling depressed
Many of these symptoms overlap with common sleep disorders including sleep apnea, a circadian rhythm disorder like seasonal affective disorder, or insomnia. In addition, there could be medical problems contributing such as hypothyroidism, which may be undiagnosed in 10% of Americans.
It may be difficult to distinguish a mood disorder from sleep problems. If you suspect you may have a sleep disorder, it may be time to get evaluated and undergo a sleep study. You may find that better sleep at night is just the thing you need to improve your mood.