Pulling an all-nighter can reverse depression for several days, study claims trends now
Most people associate sleepless nights with feeling cranky the next day.
But pulling an all-nighter may actually reverse depression for several days, a new study suggests.
Sometimes, although the body is physically exhausted, the brain feels slap-happy and loopy – that tired and wired feeling that some people will be familiar with.
Experts say this could be down to the brain chemical dopamine, which plays a role in pleasure and reward.
According to the researchers, the effect of missing a night's sleep is like a potent antidepressant that keeps the mood going for several days.
Pulling an all-nighter can reverse depression for several days, a new study suggests
In the study, mild and acute sleep deprivation was induced in mice before their behavior and brain activity was analyzed.
Not only did dopamine release increase during the acute sleep loss period, synaptic plasticity (the ability of neurons to modify their connections) was also enhanced – literally rewiring the brain to maintain the bubbly mood for the next few days.
The findings, from neurobiologists at Northwestern University, could help scientists better understand how moods naturally change.
They could also lead to a more complete understanding of how fast-acting antidepressants such as ketamine work and help researchers identify previously unknown targets for new antidepressant medications.