Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sleep loss and psychosis

Sleep deprivation has interesting affects on our mental and physical functioning. For example, sleep deprivation tends to temporarily improve the mood of patients with depression. In fact, too little sleep can result in a manic episode in patients with bipolar disorder. This study showed that one full night of sleep depression can produce symptoms that resemble psychosis. Psychosis is a mental disorder where the person "breaks" with reality, and is part of the disorder called schizophrenia. The most common symptoms are hallucinations and delusions. The results of the study about sleep deprivation are remarkable because the psychotic symptoms occurred after only one night of sleep loss. But don't worry, the psychotic symptoms resolved completely after sleeping the next night. The researchers theorize that psychosis from sleep loss may possibly be used to study mental illness and medications used to treat mental illness.

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