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Sleep Deprivation Cures the Baby Blues?

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One researcher thinks so.

woman unable to sleep

In the New York Times, Terry Sejnowski writes, "If a depressed mother stays up all night, or even the last half of the night, it is likely that by morning the depression will lift. Although this sounds too good to be true, it has been well documented in over 1,700 patients in more than 75 published papers during the last 40 years."

This seems like totally backwards logic to us. Doesn't sleep-deprivation CAUSE the baby blues? Sejnowski doesn't think so. "Sleep deprivation used as a treatment for depression is efficacious and robust: It works quickly, is relatively easy to administer, inexpensive, relatively safe and it also alleviates other types of clinical depression," he writes. "Sleep deprivation can elevate your mood even if you are not depressed, and can induce euphoria."

What do you think, moms? Are you buying this -- or does it sound like a bunch of baloney?

next: The Casey Anthony Letters
8 comments so far | Post a comment now
SW April 9, 2010, 2:09 PM

I had the baby blues and was sleep deprived. The sleep deprivation just added to it.

Me Too April 9, 2010, 3:06 PM

Uh, yeah. Nothing about this makes any sense. Advising a new mother to get even less sleep is the worst advice I’ve ever heard.

Elizabeth April 9, 2010, 6:12 PM

As an insommiaC who has experienced recurring bouts of depression and an aversion to meds- I can agree only to the extent that it has been my natural cycle and works for me.

anothermom April 10, 2010, 12:24 PM

Doesnt make sense to me. I feel if i my infant would have slept more..i would have less depression. Sleep deprivation feeds and creates depression…have never heard it being beneficial for depression or baby blues. And i studied depression in school to be a family therapist…find it interesting that this is what researchers found? doesnt make sense at all.

Jamie April 10, 2010, 7:48 PM

Yeah whatever. This is a crock. Not getting enough sleep actually makes a person depressed. I experienced suicidial feelings after my kid was born cuz I didnt get enuf sleep.

Jenny April 15, 2010, 4:28 PM

I agree with the other posts. Sleep deprivation made my PPD so much worse. I would snap and scream at my husband and step kids. Nobody understood me or cared about me. But as soon as my husband took a couple days off work so I could get a full nights rest I was a completely different person. My daughter is almost 7 months and just started sleeping through the night and I can feel my PPD starting to get better.

Maud May 21, 2011, 4:41 AM

Wow, your post makes mine look fbeele. More power to you!

Kayleigh May 22, 2011, 10:58 AM

Haha. I woke up down today. YouÂ’ve cehreed me up!

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