U-M researchers investigate sleep’s relationship to antidepressants
Medication is an important part of treatment for many patients with major depressive disorder, but the transition to antidepressants isn’t always smooth.
It can take six weeks for a person to respond to pharmacotherapy. And with remission rates at about only one-third, the majority of patients with depression could also benefit from better overall response to medication.
U-M researchers who specialize in both psychiatry and sleep medicine found a potential way to help: pay closer attention to sleep patterns. In the recent Journal of Clinical Psychiatry article, the team cautioned patients beginning a new antidepressant from restricting time in bed. More sleep, the researchers found, made subjects almost twice as likely to achieve symptom remission after the full eight weeks of antidepressant treatment.
“This is the first study to demonstrate that adequate sleep might accelerate and augment antidepressant treatment response,” said J. Todd Arnedt, Ph.D., principal investigator and U-M associate professor in psychiatry and neurology. “More research [on the topic] is still necessary.”
Read the full Michigan Health Lab piece, featuring Arnedt, to learn why the findings were surprising, and how the researchers incorporated wearable technology into the study.