Q. I get plenty of sleep and I am still depressed. How come?

There is refreshing sleep and sleep that is not refreshing. There is depression triggered by sadness due to an adverse event or natural disaster—that may be unrelated to sleep. There is depression due to an anxiety disorder or a depressive disorder that needs medical consultation and treatment. As you can see, there may be several reasons for your depression.

In relation to sleep, your brain may need more sleep or the hours of sleep you are getting may be irregular rather than regular. A recent study reportedthat irregular sleep hours can increase the risk of depression even if the total amount of sleep is adequate. Study participants who had the most variable sleep schedules scored the highest on depression tests and also had the worst moment-to-moment mood. Going to bed and getting up at regular times is also important—since irregular sleep schedules can disrupt circadian rhythms and may actually trigger or exacerbate mental health problems.