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Signs Of Depression

Energy-Related Signs Of Depression

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 90% of people with depression also suffer from fatigue. Fatigue is defined as extreme tiredness that both mental and physical overwork can cause. If you feel tired, depression may be a reason.


Disrupted sleep is one of the most common signs of depression. Because depression can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep, the body doesn’t get enough rest. The lack of inadequate, disrupted sleep can make a person feel tired. According to Harvard Health Publishing, depression is a complex disease with many possible causes and symptoms.

Depression can be caused by:

  • Genetics
  • Brain chemistry
  • Medical conditions
  • Stressful life events

These same factors also contribute to poor sleep and fatigue. Some people naturally prefer to wake up early, while others prefer to stay up late. Having a job or lifestyle that isn’t compatible with a person’s natural sleep cycle can make them tired and depressed. Changes in a person’s brain chemistry can also cause depression and fatigue.

Some medical conditions may make sleep difficult because of pain or breathing problems. Chronic medical conditions like diabetes and heart disease are linked to an increased risk for depression. Stressful life events can disrupt a person’s sleep, and chronic or extreme stress contributes to depression.

Energy levels and depression are closely linked, and one may contribute to problems with the other.

Depression and Sleep

According to the journal Sleep Science, people with depression have less slow-wave deep sleep than those without depression. Slow-wave sleep allows the body to rest and repair itself. Multiple studies have shown that disruptions to or lack of slow-wave sleep negatively affect a person’s ability to function the next day.

Poor sleep makes it hard to concentrate on tasks and makes a person feel tired throughout the next day.

Depression also affects the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin help regulate brain and body functions that contribute to good sleep.

Neurotransmitters are responsible for regulating:

  • Energy levels
  • Sleep
  • Appetite
  • Motivation
  • Pleasure

Since neurotransmitters directly affect energy levels and sleep, the disruption caused by depression can cause fatigue. Depression can affect a person’s diet, which in turn can affect their energy levels. The body needs healthy food to produce energy. People with depression often skip meals or have a poor diet filled with snacks and sweets to ease their depression through food.

The effect of neurotransmitters on motivation and pleasure also contributes to increased depression and sleep problems. Physical activity and exercise help tire people out and prepare them to sleep well. Lack of motivation makes staying active a challenge for people with depression. Loss of pleasure in everyday things, another common sign of depression, can make a person feel listless, tired, and more depressed.

Depression and Lack of Energy

The energy-related sign of depression can be seen throughout every aspect of a person’s life. Lack of energy can affect a person:

  • Physically
  • Cognitively
  • Emotionally

Physical signs related to energy and depression include difficulty with everyday tasks like getting dressed, working, and eating. Someone with depression may physically feel slow, stiff, and as if their body and limbs are too heavy to move.

Signs of decreased energy related to depression can be cognitive and affect a person’s ability to concentrate. Someone with depression may have difficulty focusing on tasks or processing and remembering new information.

Energy and depression can also affect a person’s emotions. When a person is tired, it can be difficult to regular their mood and manage their feelings of loneliness or anxiety. Their relationships may become strained, adding to their feelings of depression.

A poor night’s sleep can make anyone feel tired the next day. Chronic depression contributes to chronic fatigue that shows signs in a person’s physical, cognitive, and mental health.

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