Episode 33: Sleep in Depression

What changes in sleep are seen in depression? Is the sleepiness seen in people with depression different from other forms of sleepiness? What can be done to improve sleep disturbance and sleepiness in depression? We address these questions and more with the help of Assistant Prof David Plante from University of Wisconsin and Associate Prof Sean Cain from Monash University.

Dr Moira Junge (Health Psychologist) and Dr David Cunnington (Sleep Physician) host the monthly podcast, Sleep Talk, talking all things sleep.

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Audio Timeline:

  • 00:00 – 02:50 Introduction
  • 02:50 -32:40 Theme – Sleep in Depression
    • 02:50 – 04:31 Introduction
    • 04:31 – 18:27 Interview – A Prof David Plante – sleep in depression
    • 18:27 – 19:27 Discussion
    • 19:27 – 29:50 Interview – A Prof Sean Cain – anti-depressants, light and circadian rhythm in depression
    • 29:50 – 32:40 Summary and where to find more information
  • 32:40 – 33:11 Clinical tip: Don’t under-estimate the role of anxiety
  • 33:11 – 35:51 Pick of the month:
    • 33:11 – 34:02 Moira – Sleep deprivation and depression in adolescents
    • 34:02 – 35:51  David – Bipolar mood and lunar cycles
  • 35:51 – 37:15 What’s coming up in sleep?

Next episode: Measuring Sleepiness

Links mentioned in the podcast: 


Guest interviews:

Associate Prof Sean Cain has many years of experience in the field of sleep and circadian rhythms research in both animal and human models. Dr Cain is currently the president of the Australasian Chronobiology Society. He has trained in the conduct of human circadian rhythms and sleep research at Harvard Medical School where he studied the impact of sleep and circadian misalignment on health. Dr Cain is an Associate Professor in the School of Psychological Sciences at Monash University. Sean has many years experience in the field of sleep and circadian rhythms research in both animal and human models and is the primary investigator on a number of grants. Follow Sean on Twitter at @circadian247

Assistant Prof David Plante is the Medical Director of Wisconsin Sleep  and Professor of Psychiatry at University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. Dr. Plante is a clinician-scientist with a broad background in sleep and psychiatric research that has shaped his translational perspectives on biomedical investigation.  Dr. Plante completed his clinical sleep medicine fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, followed by a dedicated research year sponsored by a physician-scientist training award from the American Sleep Medicine Foundation (ASMF), under the mentorship of Dr. John Winkelman.  Since commencing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2010, Dr. Plante has continued to conduct translational research at the sleep-psychiatry interface.

Regular hosts:

Dr Moira JungeDr Moira Junge is a health psychologist working in the sleep field, who has considerable experience working with people with sleeping difficulties in a multidisciplinary practice using a team-based approach. Moira has consulted at Melbourne Sleep Disorders Centre since 2008, and is actively involved with the Australasian Sleep Association (ASA). She has presented numerous workshops for psychologists wanting to learn more about sleep disorders, and is involved with Monash University with teaching and supervision commitments, as well as clinical involvement with the Monash University Healthy Sleep Clinic. She is one of the clinic directors at Yarraville Health Group which was established in 1998. In addition to her expertise in sleep disorders, her other areas of interest and expertise include smoking cessation, psychological adjustment to chronic illness, and grief and loss issues.

Dr David CunningtonDr David Cunnington is a sleep physician and director of Melbourne Sleep Disorders Centre, and co-founder and contributor to SleepHub. David trained in sleep medicine both in Australia and in the United States, at Harvard Medical School, and is certified as both an International Sleep Medicine Specialist and International Behavioural Sleep Medicine Specialist. David’s clinical practice covers all areas of sleep medicine and he is actively involved in training health professionals in sleep. David is a regular media commentator on sleep, both in traditional media and social media, and blogs for the Huffington Post on sleep. David’s recent research has been in the area of non-drug, psychologically-based treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness in managing insomnia, restless legs syndrome and other sleep disorders.

Connect with David on Twitter or Facebook.

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  • Dennis

    Great episode. No simple fixes which makes it difficult for the majority who don’t live near sleep specialists. Do you have a link or information on the Canadian sleep study that was mentioned in the podcast? Thanks

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