forced sleep deprivation and depression

Nathan_miami asdf at
Wed Mar 28 02:19:28 EST 2001

Is there any medical research linking forced sleep deprivation and
depression?  While I am fine when getting 7.5+ hours of sleep per night, I
become severely depressed and have suicidal ideations when I am forced to
get by on less than six (6) hours of sleep.   My line of work (management
consulting) often requires me to work long hours and put in 80+ hours per
week. I would like to make the switch to Investment Banking where the hours
are even more grueling. However, I don't think I can handle the lack of

For a while, I thought there was a possibility of my having a Chiari
malformation, which is a condition where a malformed skull pushing into the
brain stem.  There is some evidence that this is the case as I get
excruciating pains when I sneeze hard (i.e. I feel like I am being burned
alive).  One neurologist friend told me that this could be a result of a
Chiari malformation.  Unfortunately, a brain MRI revealed no such condition.

My theory is that my brain is swelling slightly when I am sleep deprived.
During a sleep deprived state, I experience the following conditions:
depression and suicidal ideations, slurred speech, diarrhea, poor speech
processing, blurred vision, and dizziness.  With the swelled brain, I would
suggest that motor control would go first followed by speech. This is in
fact the case -- when I get less than an adequate amount of sleep.

Any ideas/resources?

thanks in advance

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