Stressful Sleep a Culprit in Depression

James Howard jmhoward at
Thu Jul 31 06:41:57 EST 1997

James Howard

MSNBC, July 30, 1997
MSNBC reported: "Those who reported difficulty sleeping under stress in
medical school were 80 percent more likely to have become depressed, the
study showed."

My work explains this phenomenon, that is, the connection of sleep and
depression.  In 1985 (copyrighted), I developed a theory of sleep that
involved the hormones, melatonin and DHEA; high melatonin, low DHEA
results in sleep and high DHEA, low melatonin results in consciousness.
 Additionally, I deduced that the melatonin - DHEA cycle is necessary
for proper growth, development, and maintenance.  If the cycle is
broken, tissues of the body exhibit the results of this, that is, aging.
 The central nervous system may exhibit this as "depression."  A
disruption of melatonin production may result in sleep disturbance and a
disruption of the melatonin - DHEA cycle; this is the connection of
sleep with depression.  (Please read my theory of sleep at

In the remainder of this post, I have provided citations that directly
support my theory, especially, the subordinate hypotheses of DHEA and
sleep, and the melatonin - DHEA cycle.

In 1985, I predicted (copyrighted) that DHEA would be low in Alzheimer's
disease and depression, and that it is the cause. The first report of
low DHEA in AD was in 1989, I just found the following report that
further supports my hypotheses of the melatonin - DHEA cycle.

Wolkowitz OM, et al., "Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) treatment of
depression," Biol Psychiatry 41 (3): 311-318 (1997)

"Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulfate, DHEA-S, are plentiful
adrenal steroid hormones that decrease with aging and may have
significant neuropsychiatric effects. In this study, six middle-aged and
elderly patients with major depression and low basal plasma DHEA and/or
DHEA-S levels were openly administered DHEA (30-90 mg/d x 4 weeks) in
doses sufficient to achieve circulating plasma levels observed in
younger healthy individuals. Depression ratings, as well as aspects of
memory performance significantly improved. One treatment-resistant
patient received extended treatment with DHEA for 6 months: her
depression ratings improved 48-72% and her semantic memory performance
improved 63%. These measures returned to baseline after treatment ended.
In both studies, improvements in depression ratings and memory
performance were directly related to increases in plasma levels of DHEA
and DHEA-S and to increases in their ratios with plasma cortisol levels.
These preliminary data suggest DHEA may have antidepressant and
promemory effects and should encouragedouble-blind trials in depressed

Life Sci 1996;58(14):PL263-PL267
"Stimulation of the secretion of dehydroepiandrosterone by  melatonin in
mouse adrenals in vitro." Haus E, Nicolau GY, et al.

"Adrenals of young adult male mice kept on a LD 12:12 lighting regimen
for three weeks prior to study and harvested at four different
circadianstages were incubated for 2 hours with 0.4 IU synthetic ACTH in
2 ml Krebs-Ringer buffer (KR), or with 50, 150, and 450 microM of
melatoninin KR containing 0.4 IU ACTH. The addition of melatonin to ACTH
leads to a dose dependent stimulation of production and/or secretion
ofDHEA into the incubation medium irrespective of the circadian stage of
harvesting of the adrenals. This relationship is of interest in view of
the simultaneous decrease of dehydroepiandrosterone and melatonin in the
course of aging, and the effects of these compounds upon aging related

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