A new study reveals that people with insomnia are more likely to develop depression later in life. The traditional thinking is that insomnia is a symptom of depression, but the authors argue that insomnia may come before depression.
This is old news, if you look at it from the sleep-breathing paradigm described in my forthcoming book, Sleep, Interrupted. I address both insomnia and depression as manifestations of interrupted breathing while sleeping that deprives you of deep, restful, restorative sleep. This process begin in childhood, affected by multiple factors, including anatomic issues, diet, infections or stressful situations. The sleep-breathing paradigm doesn’t contradict what’s out there in insomnia knowledge and research, but suggests a different perspective on ideas that we take for granted. For the most part, it even agrees with and supports the evidence in insomnia research. So it’s not important which comes first (insomnia or depression), but that both can coexist together. If so, what can cause both to occur?
This is another example of the peculiarities of medical research when you try to isolate and correlate one variable against another. Yes, you’ll get some interesting results, but more often than not, you’ll end up asking more questions as a result, or end up with multiple conflicting results. Once you look at humans as a complex interaction of innumerable processes, by looking at the “big picture,” things just make more sense.