In a report from the Daily Mail, psychology professor Alice Gregory discusses the idea that insomnia happens before depression and improving sleep may help treat the condition.

Historically, insomnia has been thought of as secondary to other disorders such as depression.

The idea was that you became depressed – and that your sleep got messed up as a consequence.

This might involve difficulty falling asleep, excessive time awake at night or waking up earlier than hoped.

This may make sense to those who have experienced depression and found that thoughts of distressing events such as of a deceased loved one, or previous failures, keep them awake at night.

The possibility that depression leads to insomnia is also consistent with research in which I have been involved.

We found that adults with insomnia were more likely than others to have experienced anxiety and depression earlier in life.

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