One night of lost sleep works as well as ketamine in fighting depression, says new study

Just personal experience, but I have found that having something induce a night without sleep can work to go from feeling anxious and frustrated about everything to anxious and frustrated about just that one thing in particular.


Looks more like Ken Stott to me, but I think it’s a self portrait by Oleg Golovnev himself.

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John Sessions always did do a good Ken Stott impression! :wink:


Came here to say pretty much this. This kind of oversimplified “science” (yes, the scare quotes are well deserved with all the caveats attached to this) is the perfect basis for co-opting into self-help and “wellness” BS. “You’ve tried intermittent fasting - but have you considered doing the same for sleep? This simple hack will CURE your depression and BOOST your productivity by [insert arbitrary but high percentage]”


Living like lab mice sounds inherently depressing. “The parents are letting us stay up all night” might give a temporary respite from the miserable existence.

And since the authors clarify that this can only be done occasionally, it is not going to work on the treatment-resistant depression they are supposedly studying.


Make that a sample size of two. I also deal with depression and also have never felt better after missing a night of sleep.

I wish it was that simple.


My immediate thought was “Wow that’s like what I’ve been noticing in the past few years!”

I hear all the naysaying, and I’m not going to disagree with anyone’s experience. Most of my life I would have agreed. But lately mine is different. Sometimes it does almost seem like drugs. It’s like afterward I’m just a little bit hypomanic. But relaxed at the same time.

I have to wonder if some may be missing the difference between chronic sleep deficit vs an isolated all-nighter when you’re pretty well rested going into it. Perhaps why I’m only noticing this recently is because I’ve been working to better manage my habitually awful sleep hygiene.

So long as I’m not badly behind on sleep already, in recent years I’ve begun to see a substantial mood elevation and increased creativity after an all-nighter for work. More if I got the work done successfully. Not so much if I still didn’t finish what pressured me into it. Also more if I chose it so I could get ahead of a backlog rather than if it was a totally desperate move.

Circumstance and context make a lot of difference for me.


Not a re-boing, apparently.



the reverse of depression?


This is the key point. The measure of depression in the article is only testing activity levels. They found that sleep deprivation induced hyperactivity in control mice, but mice who were previously scared immobile (their depressed mice had been shocked until they didn’t move much) had normal activity levels after sleep deprivation. Therefore “depression cured”

The cellular neuroscience in the article is good, which is why it is published in Neuron, but the connection to depression is BS. Depression isn’t just being less active, and just moving more doesn’t mean depression is gone.

I wish popular science press was more critical. Invariably it just repeats a single point (often one that reviewers insist be deleted from the actual article because it is unfounded). Lay people might not be able to interpret what is a meaningful change in dendritic spine growth, but they certainly understand that what goes on in their own depression isn’t really encompassed by a mouse that has been shocked until it just sits still all day and that everything that makes the mouse move more isn’t going to change their depression


I’ve experienced this, some elation on not sleeping for a night, but I’d call it more a psychotic glee, and I never felt healthy doing so. It should be noted that there’s also a strong correlation with sleep deprivation and Alzheimer’s, heart disease, diabetes and hypertension, so, it’s not an intervention without known risks.


I mean, if we’re in the business of ascribing human psychological diagnoses to mice based on that data, post-traumatic stress seems like a much more relevant diagnosis than depression… Or are they saying that people who are held captive and abused for years are really just depressed, and would feel better if they skipped sleep one night? This sounds… ugh. Like the experiment itself, let alone the wording in the article, should have been blocked by the relevant research ethics committee.


“Suicide watch” in jails will be even more hellish.

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Sad Cry GIF by SpongeBob SquarePants

New finding: reading about how scientists determined a sleepless night is as effective as ketamine at treating depression causes depression and sleepless nights.


If it helps any, the shocks aren’t painful. I have tested the most common mouse shocker on myself and it is startling but doesn’t hurt.

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Yeah, sorry, but being persistently exposed to “not painful” discomfort for prolonged periods of time is still torture.

Helps a teensy bit, mostly in the way that you cared enough to try to help. That’s heartening.

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