How mental health needs sleep – and vice versa

时间:2019-02-28 04:10:02166网络整理admin

Bertrand Meunier/Tendance Floue By Catherine de Lange How did you make the link between sleep and mental health? When I was based at Charing Cross Hospital in London around 2003, I happened to be in a lift with a psychiatrist who said: “You always get sleep disruption in people with mental illness. That’s because they don’t have a job, so they go to bed late and get up late.” I felt that made no sense. So a team of us started working with people with schizophrenia, 80 per cent of whom have reported sleep disturbances broadly termed “insomnia“. We monitored their sleep-wake cycles over six weeks and compared them to healthy people of the same age and gender who were also unemployed. For those with schizophrenia, regardless of their antipsychotic treatment, sleep patterns weren’t just disrupted; they were often totally smashed. What other mental health conditions involve bad sleep? Everything that’s been looked at, including bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder. We’ve also known for a long time that depression and poor sleep occur together. It was always assumed that depression caused poor sleep, but actually sleep disruption precedes the depression. In addition, neurodegenerative disorders like dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are also always associated with sleep disruption. So what might explain the link? People ask, is it chicken or egg? But I don’t think that’s the right way to look at it. Research over the past decade shows that the sleep/wake cycle draws on all the brain’s neurotransmitters and multiple structures. So if you have got a defect in a pathway that predisposes you to mental illness,