Delayed Sleep-Phase Syndrome (DSPS) is a type of sleep disorder in which the sufferer’s biological clock does not align with normal pattern of sleep and wakefulness. People who are affected by this syndrome, end up being ‘night owls’ and sleep most of the day. The condition can start from infancy and remain for life unless treated clinically. It can also happen as a result of wrong lifestyles, head injuries or serious diseases. Evidently, the disorder will cause functional difficulties. The patient will feel intensely sleep during the day that will affect his performance in all spheres. Besides functional problems, DSPS can also cause psychiatric mood disorders. A link has been established between depression and DSPS. But it is not concretely known whether depression causes DSPS or DSPS causes depression. Event-specific depression like seasonal affective disorder has often been found in people suffering of this sleep disorder. In fact studies have found that in 90% of patients of DSPS have some sort of depression is present.
Is it depression or insomnia?
How is DSPS Linked to Depression?
Depression in humans is diagnosed on the basis of some factors. Among them two are –rapid eye movement (REM) sleep quality and duration. REM is characterized by the random movement of the eyes, which happens during the sleep. But this cannot occupy the entire sleep hours. It takes 20 -25% of the total sleep. In REM the neurons of the brain exist in same state as in wakefulness. If the duration of REM goes beyond the prescribed limit, doctor may predict it as a case of depression. Besides this the duration and time of sleep is quite important. In patients of depression the sleep is generally delayed. These two symptoms are also present in cases of DSPS. According to the researchers, there are two circadian processes that monitor sleep-mood function – REM sleep and temperature and sleep-wake patterns. Studies have found that any alteration in the human clock gene can result in depression or depression can influence this gene function.
Would Remedies of DSPS Cure Depression?
The symptoms of depression and DSPS are so mixed up that it really difficult to diagnose the appropriate one in such patients. However it has been found that bright light which cures DSPS also lifts up the person’s mood. Melatonin which is often administered in DSPS has an anti-depressant ability too. However, in case of severe depression the remedies of DSP may not produce the desired outcome. If depression is keeping you from normal occupation and causing weight loss or gain, guilty and suicidal thoughts, see a doctor immediately.
Final Words on DSPS and Depression
I hope this article on DSPS and depression was helpful to you and would advise all people suffering of insomnia to consult a doctor to ensure whether it is solely sleep deprivation or has depression as well.