Usually, poor sleep is associated with the onset of many mental health problems. However, it seems that it might work as a solution for some of them. A recent study found some evidence in favor of short-term sleep deprivation as a possible alleviation of symptoms of depression. Therefore, not sleeping enough might not be as bad as you think.
Partial sleep deprivation is the key against depression
Sleep deprivation is associated with dozens of problems, both mental and physical. However, researchers were surprised to find that not getting enough sleep can be a benefit for people with depression. The evidence shows losing sleep for a short period of time can work as an antidepressant for some people.
The study the researchers developed, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, contains a thorough analysis of 66 previous studies developed since 1974. This is how they reached the conclusion that sleep deprivation can be good for depression. However, people need to be careful. They need not deprive themselves of sleep completely. The evidence supports three to four hours of sleep at night, followed by 20 or 21 hours of being awake.
“Sleep deprivation — typically administered in controlled, inpatient settings — rapidly reduces symptoms of depression in roughly half of depression patients.”
Not all patients might respond the same to this experimental therapy
However, before they can declare their findings as scientific truth, they need a little research. They still couldn’t determine how this partial sleep deprivation influences depression, and why it combats its symptoms so effectively.
Also, not all patients might find that such a method is working. Therefore, researchers have to establish how severe the condition must be to administer such an experimental treatment, and who can benefit from it. Even so, the findings are interesting, and might provide a solution to one of the most widespread mental illnesses of the century.
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