> In the new study, published online January 15 in the journal Translational Psychiatry, the scientists investigated whether this process is responsible for the antidepressant effects of sleep deprivation. Mice with depressivelike symptoms were administered three doses of a compound that triggers adenosine receptors, thus mimicking sleep deprivation. Although the mice continued to sleep normally, after 12 hours they showed a rapid improvement in mood and behavior, which lasted for 48 hours.
> The results confirm that the adenosine buildup is responsible for the antidepressant effects of a lack of sleep. This finding points to a promising target for new drug development because it suggests that mimicking sleep deprivation chemically may offer the antidepressant benefits without the unwanted side effects of actually skipping sleep. Such an intervention could offer immediate relief from depression, in stark contrast with traditional antidepressants, which take six to eight weeks to kick in.
Curious if it'll be mimicked somehow in the form of drugs in the future.
Like, you stop feeling better around the time you stop feeling dazed and exhausted. I can see the urge to get it into drug form, it's impressively powerful, but it looks like the mechanism of action and the mechanism of the side effects are both adenosine.
I can attest somewhat to the efficacy of the practice; in younger days I did it myself on occasion, and found it often to have the beneficial effect described upthread - as well as, on the day after the sleepless night, an interesting and generally useful upsurge of sidewise and creative thought that tended to produce ideas I could capture and usefully follow up on later, after the sleepful second night.
On the other hand, younger days being now behind me, I'm no longer able to miss a night's sleep and remain awake, much less productive, on the day following. So it goes.
Fresh air and light exercise help me during those last hours, but it can be mentally difficult to force myself to doing that.
Again, it's been a while since I've done it, so it may have been a symptom of being a bit younger. Maybe I wouldn't be able for it now...
I found switching activities every 45 minutes or so kept me sufficiently engaged.
When I feel lots of anxiety that can't go away, I'll take a nap - there's a good chance it'll reset my "anxiety counter", letting me deal with whatever issue that was stressing me out. When I'm low on mood / even more anxious, I'll stay awake for one night - the extreme tiredness attenuates the anxiety, and at the end of the next day, I get a good sleep and wake up in a better mood.
Can confirm. My morning anxiety (I got nervous when I had to leave the house) has gotten better since I started sleeping only 4-5 hours per night and stopped drinking coffee in the morning.