Night waking may relieve depression in some people

Night waking may relieve depression in some people


For most parents who have just had a baby, sleepless nights do not lead to cheerful mornings; For this reason, it does not seem logical that sleep deprivation can improve the mood of some people with major depressive disorder. However, brain scans of the volunteers show why insomnia can have such an effect, revealing interesting changes between vital brain regions in healthy volunteers and those with major depression.

to report ScienceAlert, University of Pennsylvania researchers used functional MRI to map and measure brain oscillations in 54 people with no history of mental or mood disorders and 30 people with major depression. 16 people who had no history of depression were included in the control group and had a satisfactory night’s sleep in the interval between the tests. The rest of the people (a number of depressed people as well as non-depressed people) did not sleep during the night and engaged in reading, playing computer games and watching TV. There was no caffeine or exercise.

When the brain does not have enough time to rest and recover, its efficiency decreases. In this condition, a piece of tissue in the front of the brain called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex slows down, making it harder to pay attention. In this case, not only our cognitive performance becomes weak; Rather, our ability to regulate emotions also decreases; Because the amygdala (one of the important components of the limbic system) works excessively in response to negative stimuli. Without the calming action of the prefrontal cortex, we may become hot-tempered and irritable.

Since the beginning of psychiatric research, sleep deprivation has been the focus of attention as a potential treatment for reducing depression, at least in the proportion of people who experience depression as a persistent mood.


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