Sleep & Depression “Intimately Linked”
Many people know that there is a relationship between depression and sleep. We seem to intuitively know that a depressed person has altered sleep patters; they sleep later into the morning, but have trouble sleeping at night. A fair question is, “which comes first, poor sleep or depression?”
In a study presented at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) 50th Annual Meeting, researchers presented evidence to illuminate that relationship. According to Peter Meerlo, PhD, from the Center for Behaviour and Neurosciences, University of Groningen, the Netherlands, “gradually, data are accumulating that suggest that perhaps, at least in some patients, disturbed sleep may actually be a causal factor in depression.” His team of researchers look the the changes that occur to the brain when it is subjected to altered sleep patterns. Those brain changes were in regions of the brain essential for normal mood and emotional balance.
Noah S. Philip, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior (Clinical), Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, described the investigation as a “very interesting study from several perspectives.”
“Disrupted sleep is classically thought of as a hallmark neurovegetative symptom of depression, but this and other research indicates the relationship between depressive symptoms and sleep is much more complicated,” Dr. Philip explained.
“This is of particular importance in the depression literature, as several of the available antidepressants are shown to disrupt sleep architecture, indicating they can cause poorer sleep.”
So why do I as a chiropractor have an interest in this and why would I post it here? How many of you have difficulty sleeping due to back pain? This study suggests that altered sleep patterns can influence brain chemistry leading to altered balance and mood, including depression.
A prime question I ask my patients is “does this pain interfere with your sleep?” If it does, there is a greatly complexity to the case.
If you have neck or back pain that is breaking up your restful, recuperative sleep, then you need to call us and schedule a consultation. We can help you get back on track. It’s probably better to call us first, before you go out and buy a new mattress for $1000.
Featured image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and David Castillo Dominici