Study concludes that sleeping two hours more a night and establishing a sleep routine may be the prescription to help people taking antidepressants.
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It is not difficult to understand the relationship between depression and sleep, but perhaps the reasons that make this connection so delicate still need to be understood. Science has deepened the study of the symptoms of the disease to try to explain how it can affect the rest of patients – and vice versa. Recently released studies have now come to prove that sleep makes antidepressants more effective.
Depression and insomnia: a complicated relationship
If sleeping and living with depression seems complicated, the truth is that the need for rest, when satisfied, can even help fight the symptoms of the disease. Experts point out that the hours of sleep have a direct relationship with the quality of life of those who take antidepressants daily.
The numbers of depression
Studies show that at least 75% of the population suffering from depression experience episodes of insomnia. This direct relationship may contribute to halting the progress of this increasingly common mental illness. Second research even suggested that suffering from insomnia increases the risk of developing depression by up to 10 times.
Even though the results of the studies may seem to conclude that there is a mutually reinforcing cycle (depression-lack of sleep-depression), the truth is that scientists believe that this is good news.
The discovery of more details about the relationship between sleep and depression allows for an improvement in the treatment of patients, as they start to adopt the habit of sleeping more hours a day.
Sleeping two hours more than usual is the time needed to double the effectiveness of antidepressants, according to the studies in question.
The results of the scientific analysis seem particularly relevant, as they offer an important alternative to the 40% of depressed patients who do not respond to treatment with antidepressants.
Complementary therapy that prioritizes more hours of sleep can help many people to enjoy the effectiveness of these medications.
For eight weeks, the scientists involved in the research followed 68 adults who suffered from moderate or severe depression and were medicated with the antidepressant Prozac. At the end of this time, 63% of patients who adopted a complete sleep cycle, eight hours a night, had a reduction in depression symptoms.
Many specialists already defend that sleep is essential for the organism to help the brain to regulate emotions and deal with stress. The main recommendation made to the group of patients analyzed was to have well-defined times to fall asleep and wake up and, thus, have a quality sleep.
Scientists say that the issue of sleep for patients suffering from depression should be addressed in depth by their psychiatrist, as there are no longer any doubts about its relationship with the improvement of the symptoms of the disease. It is from this answer that the specialist will be able to adapt a specific treatment for each case.
4 curiosities about sleep and depression
1. Did you know that different types of depression can present different sleep disorders? There are those who find it difficult to sleep for more hours, while others may take a while to fall asleep and there are still those who wake up several times during the night.
2. The sleep routine it can be the best friend of those who use antidepressants. Well-established schedules must be respected by the patient and those around him.
3. Those who suffer from depression should avoid watching television before falling asleepas well as using the cell phone or any other technological device that disturbs rest.
4. As eight hours of sleep may not be a miracle recipe for everyone, but you have to keep in mind that this is the average that works for most people.