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Bidirectional Relationships Between Sleep, Insomnia, and Depression 

Bidirectional Relationships Between Sleep, Insomnia, and Depression
Bidirectional Relationships Between Sleep, Insomnia, and Depression

Mathias Berger, Chiara Baglioni

and Dieter Riemann

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date: 26 January 2022

The close relationship between sleep disturbances and depression has been known for a long time. The existing database shows that a combination of disturbances in sleep continuity, sleep architecture and REM sleep occurs more frequently in patients with depression compared to other psychopathological conditions. Theories about sleep abnormalities in depression focussed on neurochemical background or on chrono-biological sleep regulatory models. However, in the last 10 years the research focus has shifted from searching for specific alterations in sleep to a different strategy investigating the predictive value of insomniac symptoms for the development of depression. These data offer interesting perspectives for treatment of depression, with respect to: the predictive role of sleep disturbances for treatment response; the specific effect of antidepressant treatments on sleep; the role of sleep-wake manipulation; the necessity to add treatment for insomnia or to consider its potential preventive effect for future development of depression.

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