A bit about Seasonal Affective Disorder and light therapy

Discussion in 'TRIBE Main Forum' started by PosTMOd, Jan 21, 2002.

  1. PosTMOd

    PosTMOd Well-Known Member

    Biological rhythms haven't been extensively studied, so don't be too surprised if your doctor doesn't know much-- the medical community tends to be conservative in their opinions...

    I predict that a bunch of disorders will be shown to have roots in messed up circadian rhythms, but it will be years...

    It took a decade for doctors to accept that most peptic ulcers (up to 90%) are caused by a bacterium (Helicobacter pylori), and can be treated with a course of antibiotics... I hope it doesn't take that long for them to accept that we are driven by our biological rhythms-- it's one of those things that is so glaringly obvious and simple that it becomes hard to see.
  2. deep

    deep TRIBE Member

    definately depression and its variants as one of them. the reason why short term rem sleep deprivation has an almost miraculous cure rate for even those with major clinical depression
  3. t-boy

    t-boy TRIBE Member

    i would have to disagree with this

    some depression CAN stem from messed circaudian cycles, but usually its the other way around.

    depression disrupts circaudian cycle by increasing the cholinergic drive and/or decreasing the aminergic drive. The REM-ON neurons in the brainstem end up being activated for longer periods of time, hence increasing time spent in REM sleep. That in turn strongly reduces the overall sensitivy of seratonergic / adrenergic neurons.

    ALthough I strongly agree that depression will cause a serious disruption in sleeping patterns and the ration of NON-REM/REM sleep, I don't think most forms of major depression are caused by disrupted circaudian cycles.

    I strongly recommend Allan Hobson's book called Sleep. Its got some great info on neurology of sleep and how it relates with affective / sleep disorders.
  4. PosTMOd

    PosTMOd Well-Known Member

    How can you tell which came first?
  5. labRat

    labRat TRIBE Member

    this nice large bank of windows right beside my cube really helps in the mornings - before i had a cube nested deep within the building and it really plays a toll on you. mostly it was just the fact of leaving for work - being at work - going home from work meant that you never really got to see any sunshine (lolipops and rainbows).

    thank you southern exposure.

  6. deep

    deep TRIBE Member

    I think it's really a chicken or the egg scenario, there usually isn't documentation of biochemical changes in individuals prior to the onset of their depression. It's somewhat akin to whether or not people lose their motivation because they're depressed or because they have no motivation do they become depressed.
  7. daddyiwantchocolate

    daddyiwantchocolate TRIBE Member

  8. deep

    deep TRIBE Member

    You're getting entirely too much fun out of this topic


    (how does it feel?)

  9. t-boy

    t-boy TRIBE Member

    well you can't tell for sure, obviously.

    i guess i maybe misphrased my response

    what i was trying to say is that disrupted sleep patterns do not necessarily mean disrupted circaudian rhythms. the circaudian cycle is different from the ultradian cycle (the 90 min rest/activity cycle, hypothesized to be the same cycle responsible for the REM/NON-REM cycle in sleep).

    if disruption of circaudian rhythms was a main culprit in major depression, then all us nightgoers would be depressed by now.. but the brain is quite resilient, in the sense that it'll reset the circaudian clock, and continue to function well after sleep deprivation

    many people are simply genetically predisposed towards depressive symptoms, because of a smaller mood centre (raphe nucleus, maybe?) or hyposensitive aminergic receptors.

    i would have to do a bit more research to come up with backups for this, obviously.. and obviously, there's a good chance that me and other sleep researchers / neurologists are wrong. But from what I read so far, I doubt circaudian rythm disruption would cause the majority of depression cases. And of course, it IS responsible for some...

    There's just no way to know for sure at this time... brain sciences are advanced, but not advanced enough for any definitive explanations.
  10. mingster

    mingster TRIBE Member

    You want a cure for SAD? Cuba!!!! [​IMG]
  11. quantumdj

    quantumdj TRIBE Member

    light therapy glasses, simulated sunrise/set devices, etc. are available on the market if you can find them. The pharmacy I work at developed a line of them for people who live in the arctic, or other low light conditions. They're starting to get popular down here now, too.
  12. daddyiwantchocolate

    daddyiwantchocolate TRIBE Member

    And there I was, digging out of my winter-induced depression. [​IMG]

    when will you figure out if your daily lumen intake has improved your state of mind? update us please.
  13. PosTMOd

    PosTMOd Well-Known Member

    No, not necessarily. It seems that society is built around a certain 9 to 5 cycle that--I would guess-- most people have. That is to say, their 24 hour cycle runs in synch with that of the 9 to 5 world.

    I have a cycle that doesn't run in synch. Now, this doesn't mean that my rhythms are messed up at all, only that they are out of synch with most people's. In other words, my circadian rhythms are running fine, they are just out of synch.

    But, it seems, for many people, nothing too serious happens when they are out of synch (they are just tired during the day). But, add in a little circadian rhythm disruption, i.e. shortened light in the light/dark cycle, and in some cases, it can trigger depression.

    You see, humans have a "free running" cycle that is slightly longer than 24 hours. "Free running" means if there is nothing to set the internal clock with. Usually, light/dark sets the clock... i.e 8 to 14 hours of light, and 16 to 10 hours of dark is sufficient to set the clock (or clocks) that run everything from hormone cycles, potassium levels, urine output, sleep/wake, etc. Now, get below a certain threshold, and the internal oscillators don't get enough input to "entrain" to a 24 hour cycle...

    I am stuck in a "phase delay", and I've been like this as long as I can remember... let me do what I want, and I will go to sleep at 4am and get up at 11 or 12. Except when there is not enough light, I go to sleep anytime between 12am and 6am, and get up anywhere from 12 to 3pm...

    There are some techniques for phase advancing my clock that I have yet to try... afternoon melatonin... afternoon amphetamines... extreme early morning bright light therapy... or a combination...
  14. Ditto Much

    Ditto Much TRIBE Member

    The US military actually did an interesting project with an isolated northern Alaskan base (during the winter night). Instead of using a propper 24 hour clock they used a clock that was actually 25 hours long and marked as 24. Thus after 24 days one day had shifted.

    They found that average performance increased slightly with early morning and late evening showing the most significant improvement.
  15. PosTMOd

    PosTMOd Well-Known Member

    ^^^ That's interesting, since they were in somewhat "free running" conditions, so they would have a performance increase since they were being allowed to synch their circadian cycles with their activity cycles.
  16. Ditto Much

    Ditto Much TRIBE Member

    Directly its useful in military applications as well. Submarines for instance have no reason to exist on a 24 hour clock specifically. I believe that the testing was actually being done on behalf of Nasa however, which another situation in which a 24 hour clock isn't necessarily sensible.

    On a personal note I find myself if left to my natural devices (i.e. no work schedule) going to bed about an hour later every day and getting up an hour later each morning.

    Thomas Edison used to take naps and rarely slept for more than an hour ever.
  17. Pyrovitae

    Pyrovitae TRIBE Member

    actually that's a common misnomer, he would often have a couple naps a day each lasting around 3 hours. he didn't believe in a conventional night's sleep however. i can reference that if you want.

    and yes, i know too much stupid shit that doesn't really pertain to anything.


    "genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration"~thomas alva edison
  18. Ditto Much

    Ditto Much TRIBE Member

    Ahh I thought it was several that were shorter than that. Thanks for the correction, update memory segment in jeff's brain.

    Eat lead Ben Stein!!! You Nixon supporter.
  19. t-boy

    t-boy TRIBE Member

    this is an excerpt from "Sleep" by Allan Hobson regarding the length of the circadian rhythm (yes, bored at work)

  20. t-boy

    t-boy TRIBE Member

    so i write some short quote, and you all abandon thread


  21. PosTMOd

    PosTMOd Well-Known Member

    Anything longer than two short paragraphs doesn't get read, t-boy.

    And what you quoted was just a long-ass way of saying what I wrote previously [​IMG]

    Though I forgot all about the use of some german word (Zeitgeber) in order to add a little panache.
  22. deep

    deep TRIBE Member

    no cowardice

    ironically enough I was sleeping
  23. t-boy

    t-boy TRIBE Member

    No, you're right. I wasn't trying to make it sound like its something different, I was just backing the same thing that you and ditto mentioned.. plus being bored at work, typing something out of a book makes you feel accomplished.

    Yeah, a long ass way of saying "we need a 25 hour day" [​IMG]

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