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Mentally Ill, or Just Tired?

by Staff


Tags: Insomnia, Sleep, Mental Illness, New Scientist, Brain,

Missing a night’s sleep can cause people’s brains to act like they have a psychiatric illness, according to the New Scientist. The lack of sleep can disrupt the parts of the brain that control people’s emotions and fear. It’s similar to the type of brain disruption associated with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Doctors often think that psychiatric disorders can cause problems sleeping, said Matthew Walker of the University of California, Berkeley, quoted in the article. But this study suggests that problems sleeping sleep disorders might be causing psychiatric disorders.

And here I was thinking that I was just tired. –Bennett Gordon

UPDATE: A reader pointed out that there is a large difference between "problems sleeping" and "sleep disorders." I think this is a good distinction to make, and I've corrected the language above.