Seasonal affective disorder can cause oversleeping and other disruptions to an individual's natural sleep patterns. A patient with seasonal affective disorder will often be unusually sleepy and lethargic throughout the day. They may feel as though they never quite wake up fully in the morning. At the same time, many individuals sleep longer than usual during the night. The longer nights affect a patient's biological clock. The body creates sleep-regulating chemicals based on the sun. When night falls earlier, the body gets sleepy earlier as well.
Darker mornings can make it much more challenging to wake up, even if individuals set alarms. Many patients with seasonal affective disorder find that they have to nap frequently during the day to complete their tasks. It is also common for these individuals to experience nightmares, which can affect their quality of sleep. Sometimes, phototherapy can help with seasonal affective disorder's sleep-related symptoms, since it helps recreate an individual's natural circadian rhythm. Healthy sleep is a vital component of depression treatment.
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