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Seasonal Affective Disorder May Affect Sleep Perception

 Seasonal Affective Disorder May Affect Sleep Perception

According to a recent study, people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) have similar misperceptions about sleep as people with insomnia.

SAD is a type of depression that affects people in the late fall, winter and early spring. It’s characteristics symptoms include oversleeping, anxiety, feelings of hopelessness and trouble concentrating. The cause is not known but, a theory is that it has to do with  a person’s individual circadian rhythm,  a decrease in the brain chemical serotonin, and disruptions in melatonin levels.

The study included 147 Pittsburgh residents between the ages of 18-65. Participants answered questionnaires about their sleep habits. They were also asked to rank on a scale of 0 to 7 how much they need “at least eight hours of sleep to function the next day” or if they agreed with the statement, “Insomnia is dangerous for health.”

The results showed that people with SAD had similar unusual beliefs about sleep people with insomnia. They had a tendency to spend more time in bed, even while they weren’t sleeping – leading to the misperception that they are getting more sleep than they really are.

Findings from the study will lead to better treatment for people will SAD and insomnia. Changing sleep habits is one of the best natural ways to improve your sleep. Cognitive behavioral therapy is considered the best long-term treatment for sleep problems. Find out more about this drug-free treatment here!

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