Saturday, 21 February 2009

Driven crazy by lack of sleep

Sleep must be one of the most powerful mood-altering drugs on the planet. Refreshed and rested the world can seem a manageable place. Exhausted and sleepless, it can seem an impossible and overwhelming challenge. Every task can seem like towing a caravan uphill, against the wind, in a car that's breaking down. Too much of too much.

A really interesting piece of research from Harvard University has been reported this week raising the idea that lack of sleep might be linked to mental health problems. Rather than saying that people with mental health problems might be more likely to suffer from poor sleep, it looks down the other end of the telescope and suggests that people who are wrecked by bad sleep could start to develop mental health problems as a consequence. As the Daily Telegraph describes it: "Having trouble sleeping can literally drive you mad."


  1. As a recent retiree who hasn't got used to not working, I can wearily suggest that as well as a too-busy lifestyle, not enough to do can make you sleepless and feel you're going mad...wakeful hours spent on hypochondriac thoughts about strange symptoms that are most likely the result of sleep-deprivation.

  2. As a long term night worker i can honestly say sleep deprivaton drives a person crazy.