Although lack of sleep is a major risk factor for depression, all those who move and become at night become depressed.
According to one study, individuals whose brains are more suited to rewards can be protected from the negative effects on mental health from bad sleep.
The results revealed that students with poor sleep were less likely to have symptoms of depression if they also had greater activity in a region prepared to the brain.
“This helps us understand why some people are more likely to experience depression when they have sleep problems,” said Ahmad Hariri, a professor at Duke University in North Carolina, USA.
“This finding can help us one day identify individuals for whom sleep hygiene can be more effective or important,” Hariri said.
For the study, which appears in The Journal of Neuroscience, the team examined a deep area in the brain called ventral striatum in 1,129 students.
The ventral striatum helps to regulate behavior in response to external feedback, as well as to reinforce behaviors that are rewarded while reducing behaviors that are not.
The results showed that those who were less sensitive to the effects of poor sleep showed significantly greater brain activity in response to feedback or positive reward compared to negative comments.
“Sleeping badly is not good, but you can have other experiences during your life that are positive. And the more you are sensitive to these positive experiences, the less you are vulnerable to the depressing effects of a poor dream,” said Hariri.