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Dreams May Hold Key to Beating Depression


"There is merit to her theory," Nofzinger tells WebMD. "The work she has done is very important, novel, and really is some of the only work that I know of that is trying to understand what is happening with our emotional character when we're asleep at night."

But other research has shown that while sleep-depriving a depressed person improves their mood, it's only in the short term, he says. "The effects are not long lasting, they generally reverse after the second or third day of sleep deprivation."

"I don't think anybody is at the point of saying that sleep deprivation or altering dreams is the best thing in the long-term treatment of depression," says Nofzinger. "There are a lot of things that do work, like medication and psychotherapy, and those are very well validated as the mainstay of treatment for depression. I see her work as an interesting theory that requires validation."


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