“Severe Sleep Deprivation causes.. a Gradual Progression Toward Psychosis With Increasing Time Awake”

 ” Long periods without sleep are associated with cognitive difficulties, and can produce psychological symptoms ranging from mood changes to psychotic experiences such as hallucinations (34). ….

The interaction between sleep loss and psychotic symptoms has long been known. Historical texts speak of the erstwhile practice of torturing those accused of witchcraft by depriving them of sleep, and of the psychotic states that inevitably ensued (7).

There is also an extensive clinical literature describing the link between sleep deprivation and acute psychotic states. Studies in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder show that sleep problems are among the most prominent correlates of positive symptoms—such as auditory hallucinations and delusions—and illness severity. Studies also show that many psychotic episodes are preceded, if not precipitated, by prolonged insomnia (812). Insomnia is a well-known clinical stressor, and it is indeed considered a prodromal symptom of psychosis (1314). Finally, clinical studies have observed the dynamic relationship that exists between sleep and symptoms, with reductions in sleep duration being directly followed by increases in psychotic symptom severity with a time lag of approximately 1 day (81517).” Waters F, Chiu V, Atkinson A, Blom JD. Severe Sleep Deprivation Causes Hallucinations and a Gradual Progression Toward Psychosis With Increasing Time Awake. Front Psychiatry. 2018 Jul 10;9:303. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00303. PMID: 30042701; PMCID: PMC6048360.


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