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Re: Sleep deprivation as an anti depressant

Posted by SLS on October 4, 2001, at 10:18:26

In reply to Re: Sleep deprivation as an anti depressant Alex01, posted by Dinah on October 4, 2001, at 8:24:04

> I don't understand the mechanism behind it but it certainly works. I admit to choosing to stay up past the point of tiredness a few nights in a row sometimes to deliberately induce a mild sort of hypomania. Probably NOT a good idea.
> I, too, would be interested in knowing the biochemistry behind it.
> Dinah


One strategy used to make the most of sleep deprivation is to go to bed at your normal time and wake up at 2:00am - 3:00am. The key is to force a phase *advance* in the circadian rhythm. Retarding the rhythm (going to bed late and over-sleeping) can actually make depression worse. There are some reports that using sleep deprivation can accelerate the response to antidepressants. I haven't researched it enough to know how to go about using sleep deprivation on a regular basis, but I imagine it involves periodic rather than continuous application.

I believe the current thought is that the antidepressant effects of sleep deprivation involve dopaminergic function. A number of years ago, researchers at the NIMH tried to establish an association between a patient's response to a single night's total sleep deprivation and the drugs that they respond to. I wish I could remember for sure what they found, but I don't. I think non-response to SD prognosticated for reduced rates of response to Wellbutrin and MAOIs. Not sure.

- Scott




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