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Re: Sleep deprivation as an anti depressant Simcha

Posted by SLS on October 4, 2001, at 12:29:17

In reply to Re: Sleep deprivation as an anti depressant, posted by Simcha on October 4, 2001, at 10:33:46

> Geez NO!
> For me sleep deprivation (alla insomnia) was part of my depression. It did not help me. It made things much worse. If I don't get my 7-8 hours, I'm a mess.
> I also didn't eat when I was down in the dumps. It's strange how we all have different symptoms for the same illness...

You make a good point. Insomnia, particularly early morning awakenings, is a defining symptom of the more classic major unipolar (melancholic and psychotic) depressions as opposed to the hypersomnia of the atypical type. Usually, these aberrations of sleep patterns resolve with remission.

Sleep deprivation does not work if it is used every day. The therapeutic effect is more the result of a phase advancement of the circadian rhythm relative to one's baseline entrainment rather than a simple reduction in the total number of hours of sleep. If one follows the same pattern of sleep deprivation for any lenth of time, this pattern entrains a new baseline circadian rhythm. Then, you are pretty much back to square one.

- Scott




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