Scientists Looking Into Links Between Sleep Deprivation & Depression

Scientists are looking more and more at sleep deprivation being the possible cause of many cases of depression.  Postpartum depression, for example, affects between 5 and 25 percent of new mothers with symptoms that include sadness, fatigue, anxiety and irritability.  A 2001 study of women with postpartum depression at the University of San Diego found that after losing just one night’s sleep, new mothers’ moods changed significantly.

An ABC News story this week discussed how scientists are trying to put the pieces of the depression puzzle together, and many of them point to lack of sleep:

“Neuroscience is just beginning to figure out the basic mechanisms of sleep,” he said. “In our lifetime, we will have a much better handle on what exactly is going on and how to fix it. But right now, we are in the early stage of discovery and I can’t promise a magic pill. But we have the tools to get the answers.”

For more information, check out this story from ABC News.