Which Came First, the Depression or the Insomnia?
December 5, 2013 11:53 AM Subscribe
Insomnia causes depression as much as depression causes insomnia: Three surprising points from a fascinating episode of KQED Forum
[audio, no transcript] with guest Dr. Michelle Primeau of the Stanford School of Medicine.
- Insomnia has long been taught to be a symptom of depression, but in many cases is a cause of depression.
- CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is an effective treatment for both insomnia and depression.
- CBT can be more effective and longer lasting than sleeping pills
For those averse to audio (like me, normally), the NYT also covered the research in print:
First story: Treating Insomnia to Heal Depression,
Follow up a couple of days later: Double Effectiveness of Depression Treatment by Treating Insomnia,
Two readers (both psychiatrists) respond, and
A NYT editorial.
The report on a pilot study at Stanford with 30 participants was published in 2008 by the journal Sleep
: NIH Version
, Original Abstract and PDF
. That project continues through this year with 150 participants
at Stanford, Duke, University of Pittsburgh, and UPenn. As the first NYT story above puts it, "If the figures continue to hold up, the advance will be the most significant in the treatment of depression since the introduction of Prozac in 1987." Another 66 person study done at Ryerson University in Toronto is just being published
Related: Another recent post about the hidden drowsiness epidemic
, possibly inspired by the fatal NY train crash
, points out the extent to which many of us are sleep deprived.