Antidepressants Might Fail if You Use Your Phone in Bed, Study Suggests

Antidepressants Might Fail if You Use Your Phone in Bed, Study Suggests

Antidepressants might work by increasing users’ sensitivity to light, an Australian study suggests.

If true – and the research is still at an early stage – this means users need to seek out sunlight for the medication to work best.

But, conversely, artificial light at night – such as blue light from a phone screen – might stop the medication working.

The Monash University study, which tested 12 people, provides the first evidence for a remarkable theory: that many cases of depression occur when a person’s eyes become less sensitive to light.

Sensitivity to light is vital for good health, because our brain uses light levels to set our internal clock. If your brain thinks it is darker than it is, it will tell you it is night time – making you sleepy and lethargic. These are common symptoms of depression.

“These people cannot move their clock to match the change in the day,” says Professor Ian Hickie, a co-director at the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre, who was not involved in the study.

“It’s better thought of as being terminally jetlagged rather than terminally depressed. You feel sick, you cannot experience joy, you cannot sleep.”

 

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Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

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