Sleep-wake Cycle Manipulation for Depression and Anxiety Removal

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Sleep-wake Cycle Manipulation for Depression and Anxiety Removal

REM NREM Sleep Wake Cycle

The sleep-wake-cycle is a daily pattern that determines when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to be awake. For most humans, the ideal cycle includes seven to nine hours of sleep, mostly at night and followed by 15 to 17 hours of wakefulness.

Sleep problems affect more than 50% of adult patients with generalized anxiety disorder, are common in those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and may occur in panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and phobias.

Recent research shows, that by altering the timing of the sleep-wake cycle, or that of endogenous circadian rhythms, can have a significant influence on mood change.  Researchers observed that antidepressant effects can be operated via the re-synchronization of circadian rhythms. Several theories has been experimented.

During “quiet” sleep, a person progresses through four stages of increasingly deep sleep. Body temperature drops, muscles relax, and heart rate and breathing slow. The deepest stage of quiet sleep produces physiological changes that help boost immune system functioning.

The other sleep category, REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, is the period when people dream. Body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing increase to levels measured when people are awake. Studies report that REM sleep enhances learning and memory, and contributes to emotional health — in complex ways. Generally, sleep cycle moves through several distinct periods of REM sleep each night.

REM NREM Sleep Wake Cycle

REM NREM Sleep Wake Cycle

Melatonin is another hormone that helps to regulate the sleep/wake cycle. Your melatonin level starts to rise in the late afternoon and continues to creep up through the night, and then falls in the early hours of the morning, as your body prepares to wake.

A part of your hypothalamus (a portion of your brain) controls your circadian rhythm. When it’s dark at night, your eyes send a signal to the hypothalamus that it’s time to feel tired. Your brain, in turn, sends a signal to your body to release melatonin, which makes your body tired and sleepy.

Your circadian rhythm works best when you have regular sleep habits, like going to bed at night and waking up in the morning around the same times from day to day. A good sleep is recuperative and removes the feelings of fatigue and also produces an improvement in cognitive ability.

Neuroimaging and neurochemistry studies suggest that a good night’s sleep helps foster both mental and emotional resilience, while chronic sleep deprivation sets the stage for negative thinking and emotional vulnerability.

Mostly, among the depressed, REM sleep typically occurs too early, lasts too long, and is marked by excess activity. The sleep disturbance correlates with prognosis for both recovery and relapse.  Sleep-wake cycle manipulation is a standard yoga technique for depression removal,  by keeping the patient up all night individuals sometimes report an elevation of mood almost immediately.

 

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