Several things can cause nighttime depression, such as being unable to sleep due to insomnia. Depending on the cause, possible treatments could involve psychotherapy or antidepressant medication.
Depression is a common mental health condition that can lead to low mood and feelings of hopelessness. In some people, these symptoms can worsen at night.
Keep reading to learn more about the causes of nighttime depression, some potential risk factors, and some possible treatment options.
The symptoms of depression include:
- feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness
- a persistently low mood
- loss of interest in hobbies or activities that used to be pleasurable
- difficulty concentrating or remembering
- suicidal thoughts
- feelings of isolation
- feelings of emptiness
At night, some of these symptoms can become worse, making it harder to sleep. In turn, this could worsen insomnia and fatigue the next day, which can further worsen the depression a person in experiencing.
There are also some symptoms of depression that may be harder to spot. Read about them here.
The causes of depression are likely to be a combination of factors relating to genetics and the environment, such as experiencing trauma or chronic stress. It is less clear why these symptoms may worsen at night.
People who experience insomnia as a symptom of depression may feel frustrated about their inability to sleep. The frustration likely peaks at night, when a person is unable to sleep despite feelings of fatigue and exhaustion during the day.
Being unable to sleep could worsen depression symptoms such as irritability or low mood.
It is also possible that the lack of stimulation at night makes it more difficult for someone to distract themselves from their symptoms. This could give rise to rumination.
Rumination is a common feature of several mental health conditions. It occurs when a person repeatedly goes over a negative thought or problem without finding any solution. This can increase feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness.