Why depression can lift quickly
Depression will lift quickly when you break the depression cycle. Whenever you worry about unmet emotional needs, you are generating stress in your brain that must be deactivated during dreaming. Too much dreaming exhausts the brain, leading to waking up more tired than when you went to bed. This lowers motivation and maintains the problem.
Breaking the cycle of depression
Incessant worrying about something that can’t be immediately solved generates unresolved emotional arousal that has to be deactivated in order to complete the biological arousal/dearousal circuit in our brains. If action is not taken during the day to dearouse the autonomic nervous system, it is done metaphorically by dreaming.
The consequential imbalance between REM sleep and recuperative slow wave sleep causes the symptoms. (Waking up early, for example, is a sort of survival mechanism for your brain, a response to energy depletion in the glial cells which are not getting enough sugar to compensate for the energy being used up by excessive dreaming.)
When you wake up feeling like this — unrefreshed and with no motivation — it’s because your brain is exhausted from too much REM sleep and not enough slow wave sleep to reenergize it. The sleep pattern is unbalanced, which is why we can say that depression is a REM sleep disorder.
Depression is physically exhausting due to the decreased amount of restorative slow-wave sleep, and mentally exhausting due to the increased firing of the orientation response (which is linked to our motivation and attention capacities) during dreaming.
So in the short term if you stop the worrying and therefore rebalance your sleep, immediate feelings of tiredness and lack of motivation will lift.
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