A psychiatrist with a private practice in Manhattan, Sudhir Gadh said, "In the end, it is only a component in complete treatment because if it worked, the city that never sleeps wouldn't have so many psychiatrists".
All forms of sleep deprivation, ranging from partial (20 to 21 hours without sleep) to total (up to 36 hours), were an effective anti-depressant for patients across demographics, according to the analysis of 66 English-language studies on the topic from 1974 to 2016. Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center.
A team of researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania studied on sleep deprivation factor and claimed that it can help improve depression's symptoms of people by 50 percent.
Previous studies have up to 60 per cent of patients experience a rapid decline in their depression symptoms when treated with sleep deprivation - but these statistics have not been reexamined since the 1990s.
"Regardless of how the response was quantified, how the sleep deprivation was delivered, or the type of depression the subject was experiencing, we found a almost equivalent response rate", says Gehrman.
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"More than 30 years since the discovery of the antidepressant effects of sleep deprivation, we still do not have an effective grasp on precisely how effective the treatment is and how to achieve the best clinical results", said study senior author Philip Gehrman, an associate professor of psychiatry.
The potential link between sleep deprivation and mood enhancement is nothing new.
Almost 200 years ago, a German psychiatrist named Johann Christian August Heinroth successfully experimented with sleep deprivation as a treatment for, what he called at the time "melancholia".
In 1970, a wake therapy was developed to improve the depressive symptoms.
One of the biggest challenges researchers now face in translating this seemingly odd, but longstanding phenomenon into a practical treatment is the fact that the effects of sleep deprivation on depression are not long-lasting. While effective, the benefits are temporary and patients report a return of their symptoms days to a week after treatment. Since then, doctors have experimented with several types of sleep deprivation on depressed patients.
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