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Sleep patterns and the risk for unipolar depression: a review

Authors Wiebe, Cassoff, Gruber R

Received 14 January 2012

Accepted for publication 22 March 2012

Published 29 May 2012 Volume 2012:4 Pages 63—71


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Sabrina T Wiebe, Jamie Cassoff, Reut Gruber
Attention, Behavior and Sleep Laboratory, Douglas Mental Health University Institute, Montréal; McGill University, Montréal, Quebec, Canada

Abstract: Psychological disorders, particularly mood disorders, such as unipolar depression, are often accompanied by comorbid sleep disturbances, such as insomnia, restless sleep, and restricted sleep duration. The nature of the relationship between unipolar depression and these sleep disturbances remains unclear, as sleep disturbance may be a risk factor for development, an initial manifestation of the disorder, or a comorbid condition affected by similar mechanisms. Various studies have examined the impact of sleep deprivation on the presence of (or exacerbation of) depressive symptoms, and have examined longitudinal and concurrent associations between different sleep disturbances and unipolar depression. This review examines the evidence for sleep disturbances as a risk factor for the development and presence of depression, as well as examining common underlying mechanisms. Clinical implications pertaining to the comorbid nature of various sleep patterns and depression are considered.

Keywords: sleep, depression, insomnia, sleep deprivation, development

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