Crying yourself to sleep can be a difficult and emotional experience. On one hand, it can provide an outlet for releasing built-up emotions, allowing people to process their feelings in a safe and healthy way. On the other hand, uncontrolled crying or crying frequently suggests something is wrong that needs addressing—which could be a sign of depression.
Though crying can be a normal and healthy coping mechanism, it’s important to pay attention to the circumstances and frequency of your tears. If you find yourself crying frequently or uncontrollably, particularly when going to bed, it may be a sign that you are struggling with depression.
In this article, we’ll explore the query ‘Is crying yourself to sleep a sign of depression and present the coping strategies to remain mentally strong.
3 Types of Tears
When it comes to understanding the relationship between crying and depression, it’s important to first understand the role of tears in our emotional lives. Tears can generally be classified into three categories: basal tears, reflex tears, and psychic (or emotional) tears.
- Basal Tears: These are the tears that keep your eyes lubricated and moist all day. They help to protect your eyes from dust and other particles in the air.
- Reflex Tears: When something irritates or affects your eye, like wind or onions, reflex tears are released to wash away the irritant.
- Emotional Tears: These are the tears we shed when feeling emotions like sadness, joy, or fear. It’s normal to cry in response to something that has upset us or made us feel overwhelmed and not be able to handle it on our own.
Crying yourself to sleep can be a sign of depression, but it can also be a result of stress or emotional exhaustion. It is important to recognize the difference between crying due to emotions and tears due to other factors such as physical pain or allergies.
Is Crying Yourself to Sleep a Sign Of Depression – What Does It Mean?
When you cry yourself to sleep every night, it means a lack of emotional support. It can be a sign that you are feeling overwhelmed, lonely, or otherwise unable to cope with the demands of life. Frequent crying at night could signify a deeper problem, such as depression or anxiety.
If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to take steps to address root causes and seek help from professionals if needed. Talking to a friend or family member, journaling your thoughts and feelings, or seeking therapy can all be great ways to gain clarity on what is causing the tears. Taking these steps can help you feel more in control of your emotions and ultimately lead to improved mental health.
12 Major Causes of Excessive Uncontrollable Crying Without Support from Others
For some people, crying themselves to sleep can be a sign of depression. It might be difficult to recognize this symptom as many of us have different ways of expressing our emotions. Crying yourself to sleep may also be due to a lack of support or comfort from others, which can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Here are a few causes of crying to sleep:
- Menstruation: Women may find that their emotions are heightened during their menstrual cycle, leading to uncontrollable crying.
- Stress: Stressful situations can make it difficult to maintain control of one’s emotions and can often lead to excessive crying.
- Lack of sleep: Lack of sleep can cause extreme fatigue which makes it harder for a person to cope with their emotions and can lead to uncontrollable crying.
- Grief: Grieving for a significant loss, such as the death of a loved one, can be an overwhelming experience that can cause intense emotional pain and result in uncontrollable crying.
- Certain medications: Some medications used to treat mental health conditions may have side effects that can cause uncontrollable crying.
- Lack of support: Crying is a natural response to stress or sadness, but if people don’t have the social support they need, it can be difficult to regulate their emotions and may lead to excessive crying without support from others.
- Pregnancy: Hormonal shifts during pregnancy can also lead to emotional changes which can result in uncontrollable crying.
- Burnout: When a person is extremely exhausted, it can be hard for them to cope with their emotions which may lead to excessive crying.
- Depression: Depression is one of the most common causes of uncontrollable crying. People with depression may find it hard to control their emotions and cry for long periods of time without any real reason.
- Bipolar: People with bipolar disorder can experience extreme mood swings which can lead to uncontrollable crying.
- Pseudobulbar Affect: Pseudobulbar affect is a condition that causes sudden and unexpected outbursts of crying or laughing. It can be caused by neurological conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
- Cultural Aspect: Some cultures may have a tendency to cry more than others, and this could be due to different upbringings or societal influences.
8 Major Benefits of Crying
Crying is a natural and healthy way of expressing emotion. It can be comforting, cathartic, and sometimes even necessary for our well-being. Although it can feel embarrassing or uncomfortable at the moment, there are many benefits to crying that you may not have considered. Here are just some of the potential advantages of letting yourself cry:
1. Good for Eyes
Crying can be beneficial for your eyes, both physically and mentally. Here are a few benefits of crying on our vision:
- Tears clear away dirt and dust from the eyes, preventing bacteria from entering the eye.
- Helps to lubricate the eyes, reducing irritation or dryness.
- Reduces stress and tension in the face which can lead to headaches and blurred vision.
- Releases endorphins that help improve mood and reduce stress.
- Provides emotional release, reducing mental distress and improving overall well-being.
2. Emotional Catharsis
Crying is a natural way for people to release their emotions. It can help us process difficult emotions and prompts us to take action if needed. Here are a few other relevant benefits of crying:
- Allows people to safely express their emotions in a healthy way.
- Releases hormones such as oxytocin and endorphins that help reduce stress and improve mood.
- Helps people process difficult emotions and can prompt them to take action if needed.
- It provides emotional outlet to help people cope with stress or sadness.
- Helps people feel more connected to others and can foster a sense of understanding and compassion.
3. Relieve Pain
Crying can help to alleviate physical pain as well. Here are a few other relevant benefits of crying:
- Releases endorphins which act as natural pain relievers.
- Reduces stress levels, helping to ease muscular aches and pains.
- It provides emotional relief and helps people cope with difficult emotions.
- Gives people a sense of control over their emotions and feelings.
- Can help people to feel more connected to others and foster a sense of understanding.
4. Better Quality Sleep
Crying can also be beneficial for sleep. Here are a few other relevant benefits of crying:
- Reduces levels of cortisol, which is the hormone associated with stress and anxiety.
- Helps people to process their emotions so they can relax and get a better quality of sleep.
- This can lead to more restful sleep with fewer disturbances.
- Improves the quality and length of sleep, leading to improved cognitive functioning.
- Increases energy levels during the day due to better sleep at night.
5. Uplifts Mood
Crying can also be helpful for our mental health. It also helps us to process difficult emotions so we can move on and feel more positive about life. Here are a few other relevant benefits of crying:
- Releases endorphins which act as natural mood boosters.
- Helps people to process difficult emotions and can help them to move on with life positively.
- Reduces stress and tension in the body, helping to improve overall well-being.
- It provides an emotional outlet that helps people cope with sadness or distress.
- Helps people to feel more connected to others and can foster a sense of understanding.
6. Improved Immunity
Crying can also assist to improve our immune system. Here are a few other relevant benefits of crying:
- Increases immunoglobulin, a production which helps fight off infections.
- Helps people to process their emotions and release stress, which can improve overall health.
- Reduces levels of cortisol, which is the hormone associated with stress and anxiety.
- Improves sleep quality and length, leading to improved cognitive functioning.
- Can uplift moods and improve overall well-being by releasing endorphins.
7. Fights Bacteria
Crying can also help to fight bacteria. It is also believed that lysozyme may help to protect the eyes from infection by fighting off bacteria in tears. Here are a few other relevant benefits of crying:
- Releases lysozyme which helps to break down and destroy bacterial cells.
- May protect the eyes from infection by fighting off bacteria in tears.
- Reduces levels of stress hormones, helping to improve overall health and well-being.
- Provides an emotional outlet that helps people cope with sadness or distress.
- Can help to fight off infections and boost the immune system.
8. Get Support from Others
Crying can also provide an opportunity for support from others. It can help people feel more understood and supported by their family and friends. Here are a few other relevant benefits of crying:
- Allows people to seek comfort and connection with others during difficult times.
- Helps people to feel more understood and supported by their family and friends.
- Can provide a sense of relief from stress or sadness when shared with another person.
- Helps increase empathy in relationships and can foster greater understanding.
- Allows people to express their emotions in a safe and supportive environment.
5 Disadvantages of Excessive Crying to Sleep When No one Provides Support
Crying can be beneficial in many ways, but it is important to remember that excessive crying can have some negative effects. Crying yourself to sleep when no one provides support can leave individuals feeling especially vulnerable and isolated.
We must look at the other side of the picture as well. Here are five unique disadvantages of excessive crying to sleep when no one provides support:
1. Adverse Effects on Mental Health
Excessive crying can have a major impact on mental health. Here are a few relevant disadvantages of crying:
- This can lead to feelings of sadness, guilt, and shame that can worsen over time.
- Increased levels of stress and anxiety due to feeling unsupported.
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing on tasks due to emotional distress.
- Can cause physical symptoms such as headaches, nausea, and fatigue.
- May contribute to depression and other mental health issues.
2. Lack of Sleep Quality & Length
Uncontrolled crying can also disrupt sleep quality and length, which can further impair mental and physical health. Here are a few relevant disadvantages of crying:
- Difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep due to emotional distress.
- Poor sleep quality results in daytime fatigue and impaired cognitive functioning.
- Increased risk of developing insomnia or other sleep disorders.
- Difficulty concentrating on tasks due to lack of restorative sleep.
- Reduced alertness, energy levels, and productivity during the day.
3. Lack of Social Support
Crying can be a sign that someone is in need of social support, but without it, they may feel even more alone and isolated. Here are a few relevant disadvantages of crying:
- Increased feelings of loneliness and isolation due to lack of social support.
- Difficulty expressing emotions to others due to feeling unsupported.
- Risk of developing depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
- Increased stress levels due to feelings of being overwhelmed or unheard.
- Difficulty creating meaningful connections with family and friends.
4. Physical Health Issues
Extreme crying can also lead to physical health issues such as headaches, nausea, and even insomnia. Here are a few relevant disadvantages of crying:
- Increased risk of headaches, nausea, and insomnia due to prolonged crying.
- Weakened immune system functioning due to lack of proper rest.
- Difficulty maintaining a healthy diet or exercise routine due to stress.
- Poor physical health due to increased levels of emotional distress.
- Increased risk of developing physical illnesses or conditions due to a weakened immune system.
5. Loss of Self-Esteem
Crying can also lead to a loss of self-esteem, as individuals may feel embarrassed or ashamed for crying in the first place. Here are a few relevant disadvantages of crying:
- Decreased self-esteem due to feelings of embarrassment and shame.
- Belief is that they are weak and incapable without the help of others.
- Poor sense of identity due to lack of self-confidence and self-worth.
- Difficulty forming trusting relationships with others due to low self-esteem.
- Increased risk of developing mental health issues such as depression or anxiety.
6 Potential Scenarios When to Consult A Doctor for Crying
Crying can be a normal response to difficult or overwhelming situations. However, if someone finds themselves crying excessively and uncontrollably, it may be a sign of an underlying mental health issue that should not be ignored. Here are six scenarios when one should consider consulting a doctor for excessive crying:
- Crying for no apparent reason
- Crying that interferes with daily activities
- Crying that lasts more than a few hours
- Crying accompanied by physical symptoms such as headaches, nausea, or chest pain
- Experiencing feelings of hopelessness or helplessness when crying
- Having difficulty controlling emotions or behavior when crying
If any of these symptoms are present, it is recommended to seek professional help from a doctor or mental health specialist. It is important to remember that all feelings and emotions are valid and should not be ignored. With the right care and support, one can gain skills to manage their emotions in healthier ways.
6 Impactful Ways How to Stop Crying Spells
Massive crying spells can be a sign of emotional distress or an underlying mental health issue. However, there are strategies that one can use to stop crying spells and regain control of their emotions. Here are six ways how to stop crying spells:
- Take deep breaths: Taking a few deep breaths can help to slow down racing thoughts and calm the body’s physiological response to stress or distress.
- Distract yourself: Find an activity that will take your mind away from whatever is causing you distress, such as reading a book or listening to music.
- Talk to someone: Reach out to a trusted friend or family member and talk about whatever it is you’re feeling. Talking through your emotions can help you to process and understand them better.
- Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment and being aware of your thoughts, emotions, and body sensations without judgement.
- Seek professional help: If your emotions are too overwhelming to manage on your own, consider seeking professional help from a mental health specialist.
- Time is the Great Healer: Take a moment to reflect on whatever you’re feeling and remind yourself that time is the great healer; this too shall pass.
By employing these strategies, one can regain control of their emotions and become better equipped to handle difficult or overwhelming situations. It is important to remember that it’s ok to feel distressed at times and there is no shame in seeking help from professionals.
Crying can be a normal response to difficult or overwhelming situations, but crying excessively and uncontrollably may be a sign of an underlying mental health issue that should not be ignored.
It is important to remember that all feelings and emotions are valid and with the right care and support, one can gain skills to manage their emotions in healthier ways. By employing the strategies mentioned above, one can regain control of their emotions and become better equipped to handle difficult situations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does depression make you wanna cry?
Yes, depression can cause a person to feel an overwhelming sense of sadness or despair that may lead to crying. If you are feeling overwhelmed and find yourself crying excessively, it can be a sign of depression and should not be ignored. It is recommended to seek professional help from a doctor or mental health specialist.
What should I do if I cry myself to sleep every night?
1. Take a moment to identify the source of your distress – Spending a few minutes reflecting on what is causing your emotions can help you gain insight and understanding.
2. Talk to someone – Talking about whatever it is you’re feeling can help to process these emotions and make them more manageable. Reach out to a trusted friend or family member or consider seeking help from a mental health specialist.
3. Practice self-care – Take time for yourself and practice activities that bring you joy, such as listening to music, reading a book, going for walks, etc.
4. Find healthier ways to express your emotions – Writing in a journal or even just talking out loud can be therapeutic and help to release some of the emotional pressure.
5. Seek professional help – If your emotions are too overwhelming to manage on your own, consider seeking professional help from a mental health specialist who can offer counselling and guidance.
What is it called when you cry in your sleep?
This is referred to as nocturnal crying syndrome (NCS) and is characterized by excessive or uncontrollable crying during sleep. It can be caused by psychological distress, physiological disorders, or a combination of both.
Nocturnal crying should not be ignored as it may indicate an underlying mental health issue that requires treatment. If you find yourself unable to control your emotions or are struggling to manage your distress, it is recommended to seek professional help from a doctor or mental health specialist.
Is it normal to cry yourself to sleep every day?
No, it is not normal to cry yourself to sleep every day. This may be a sign of an underlying mental health issue that should not be ignored. If you are crying excessively and cannot seem to control your emotions, it is recommended to take a moment to identify the source of your distress and seek professional help from a doctor or mental health specialist.
Additionally, it is important to practice self-care and find healthier ways to express your emotions such as talking to someone, writing in a journal or engaging in an activity that brings you joy.
What do you call a person who cries easily?
A person who cries easily is often referred to as a “crybaby”, an “emotional” or “sensitive” person. Crying can be a normal response to difficult or overwhelming situations, but excessive and uncontrollable crying may be a sign of an underlying mental health issue that should not be ignored.
Why all of a sudden want to cry?
1. Stress or anxiety – Excessive stress or anxiety can lead to overwhelming emotions that may cause you to cry.
2. Grieving – If you have recently experienced the loss of a loved one, it is normal to feel overwhelmed with emotion and want to cry.
3. Hormones – Changes in hormones due to puberty, pregnancy, menopause, etc. can cause mood swings and emotional outbursts that may lead to crying.
4. Trauma – Experiencing a traumatic event or dealing with unresolved trauma can be emotionally overwhelming and lead to excessive crying.
5. Mental health issues – Excessive crying may be a sign of an underlying mental health issue such as depression or anxiety.
Is it healthy to cry at night?
Yes, crying at night can be a healthy way to release emotions and help process difficult thoughts or experiences. It is important to remember that not all emotions should be suppressed; instead, it may be beneficial to allow yourself to feel and express those emotions in a safe and regulated manner.
If your emotions are overwhelming and you cannot seem to control them, it is recommended to seek professional help from a doctor or mental health specialist.
Why do eyes swell after crying?
Crying can lead to swelling of the eyes because tears contain proteins, electrolytes and other substances that increase fluid in the tissue around the eyes. Additionally, crying reflexively contracts certain muscles, which can cause inflammation or puffiness in the area.
The swelling should normally subside within a few minutes after ceasing to cry. If you find that your eyes are still swollen and irritated after crying, it is recommended to seek medical attention.
Jonathan Rottenberg ( 2008). Do mood disorders alter crying? A pilot investigation. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17437260/
Asmir Gračanin (May 28, 2014). Is crying a self-soothing behavior? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4035568/