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Exessive sleep and depression mist

Posted by jay on December 17, 2001, at 4:28:23

In reply to Daytime sleep, sleep patterns, depression., posted by mist on December 15, 2001, at 13:57:33

> Sometimes I need to sleep in the afternoon but when I do I usually wake up feeling more depressed. I have less energy and feel gloomy, hopeless, and out of sorts. When that happens, the rest of the day is shot. Sometimes I'll revive late in the evening but hardly ever. It makes me want to never nap again, but at the same time I think if my body is telling me it needs sleep it must know something.
> Although I have ongoing depression, in general I feel better in the morning (the exception is when I've slept too long the night before, but under normal circumstances I don't sleep too much or too little). Usually by afternoon I start to feel more depressed again. This feeling is especially bad following afternoon sleep. Sometimes I drink coffee or tea to try to "wake up," and change my mood but it doesn't help that much and I don't like having caffeine that late in the day anyway.
> Does anyone know what the biochemical basis is for depression being exacerbated by daytime sleep and if this symptom indicates which meds might help me?

I have been doing a bit of my own research in this area, and have found some interesting info.

Too much sleep (or *oversleeping*, as it is sometimes called) can cause problems in itself. There are a few hypothesis about this. They are mentioned in the excellent book, The Noonday Demon. Again, these are not *proven facts*, but speculation made by a few scientists.

One has to do with the sleep cycle itself, and that what can happen is by oversleeping, we start into yet *another* full sleep cycle, and often awaken in the first or second stages. Hence, we don't complete the second cycle, so we feel like we didn't get a "full night's sleep."

Another has to do with neurotransmitter balance and sleep. A few speculations here. A simple one has to do with being awake and blinking. Supposedly we stimulate dopamine release by blinking, which we obviously don't do when we are asleep.

Yet another has to do with the release of serotonin when we sleep, as it is thought that with the large amount of serotonin transmission during sleep, we release and deplete our stores of serotonin. Hence, feeling cruddy for most of the day after oversleeping, due to a mess up in our serotonin levels.

This is all just speculation, but these hypothesis have been mentioned by some prominent scientists. Maybe some are "bang on" true, and maybe some are, well, *somewhat* true.

Whatever it is, sleep and depression, as well as anxiety, seem to have a strong connection. All affect each other no matter which way you look at it.
It's also interesting to note that mild sleep deprivation is know to put depression into a temporary, and short, remission. It can also be very dangerous, though, and trigger everything from mania to psychosis.

I would highly suggest to try and regulate your sleeping hours. Even slowly, if you can withdraw your afternoon nap, it may be helpful after awhile. If it helps your depression, why not give it a shot?!

Best wishes..





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