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Sleep Pattern May Indicate Depression

January 02, 2008 | 33,243 views
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A particular sleep profile runs in families and that the sleep profile seems to be fairly clearly associated with an increased susceptibility of family members to suffer from depression. Researchers may actually be closer to learning about the genetics of depression by pursuing sleep as a means of what might be underlying depression's development.

Two major sleep states are rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM. Non-REM is classified by overall brain wave slowing. It occurs in stages 1-4, where 1 is the most activated brain and 4 is the least activated. Deep sleep is low wave, occurring in stages 3-4. REM is when brain activity is similar to when people are awake, but they are really deeply asleep.

The sleep profile the researchers identified is characterized by an earlier onset to this REM state and a drop out in slow wave sleep. Overall, there is more REM sleep and less slow wave sleep and a quicker slide into REM sleep. This discovery led the researchers to conclude that there is a fundamental regulatory problem in sleep which is linked to people's vulnerability for depression.

Relatives of depressed people who have rapid REM onset were four times more likely to also have rapid REM onset, and that their risk of depression was nearly double compared with the relatives of other depressed patients. The study findings also suggest that rapid REM onset indicates a higher risk of depression than having a family member with depression.

Most people are not aware that they may have this sleep profile. It is not associated with waking up often during the evening or not feeling rested in the morning. However, if people have a substantial number of family members who seem to have a problem with depression, that suggests they may have this sleep profile.

American Journal of Psychiatry (1998;155:192-199)

COMMENT: Disturbed sleep patterns are a very powerful indicator of depression. It is the most sensitive clue I have to recognize if I am getting depressed. Cardiovascular aerobic exercise is also one of the most effective treatments for disturbed sleeping patterns. Typically, 30-60 minutes four times a week. Doing this amount of exercise or even more is no guarantee that it will work. I know many depressed individuals who are exercise fanatics. However, it is one simple and inexpensive way to treat this problem.

What Are GMOs?

From April 19th through April 25th we launch GMO Awareness Week. We set aside an entire week dedicated to providing you with information on GMOs and labeling initiatives.

GMOs are a product of genetic engineering, meaning their genetic makeup has been altered to induce a variety of “unique” traits to crops, such as making them drought-resistant or giving them “more nutrients.” GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is “safe and beneficial,” and that it advances the agricultural industry. They also say that GMOs help ensure the global food supply and sustainability. But is there any truth to these claims? I believe not. For years, I've stated the belief that GMOs pose one of the greatest threats to life on the planet. Genetic engineering is NOT the safe and beneficial technology that it is touted to be.

Help Support GMO Labeling

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food. For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture. For example, Monsanto has made many claims that glyphosate in Roundup is harmless to animals and humans. However, recently the World Health Organization (WHO) had their research team test glyphosate and have labeled it a probable carcinogen.

Public opinion around the biotech industry's contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We're fighting back. That's why I was the first to push for GMO labeling. I donated a significant sum to the first ballot initiative in California in 2012, which inspired others to donate to the campaign as well. We technically "lost the vote, but we are winning the war, as these labeling initiatives have raised a considerable amount of public awareness.

The insanity has gone far enough, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. More than 80 percent of our support comes from individual consumers like you, who understand that real change comes from the grassroots.

Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these junk food manufacturers, pesticide producers, and corporate giants.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

Together, Let's Help OCA Get The Funding They Deserve

Let’s Help OCA get the funding it deserves. I have found very few organizations who are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health justice and sustainability. A central focus of the OCA is building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption. That's why I'm proud to announce I will be matching donations up to $250,000 this week.

Please make a donation to help OCA fight for GMO labeling.

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