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A Journal on Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychopharmacology

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
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Minerva Psichiatrica 2001 March;42(1):59-66

language: Italian

Sleep deprivation in the treatment of depression

Stotz-Ingenlath G., Giupponi G., Meyendorf R., Möller H.


Since the beginning of the last century, sleep deprivation has been used as an effective and acceptable additional therapeutic method in depressed patients. After sleep deprivation, two thirds of all patients feel better and are also more active. Sleep deprivation can be used also for the period of time before the antidepressant drugs take effect. Although sleep deprivation is quickly effective, it has to be repeated because the effect only lasts one day. A phase- advance design tends to increase the positive effect of sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation does not have any serious side effects, although it is not recommended for epileptics. Sleep deprivation can be applied in every phase of depression and is suitable for all ages. Patients who have endogenous depression with a clear daily rhythm are the most responsive to this therapy.

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