Sleep deprivation and psychosis

Someone I know was talking about sleep deprivation causing psychosis.

I think the mechanism behind that, in brief,  is as follows:

 

Consciousness is the result of serotonin opening  blood vessels within the brain via vasodilation. When we sleep, some of the serotonin is converted into melatonin (for reasons described in an earlier post), which acts to either reduce the amount of available serotonin or to “block the keyholes”, reducing consciousness by reducing blood supply leading to sleep (again, see earlier post).

If you’re not sleeping, this serotonin remains available, along with any extra produced which would ordinarily replace that which was converted into melatonin. This build up opens up more blood vessels (again, see an earlier post about vasodilation or too much blood flow leading to mania), leading to a manic or delusional state.

Subsequent rest redresses the balance, and the psychosis diminishes.

I’ll write more about this when I get time, too busy cooking at the moment….

 

 

 

 

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~ by funnyinthehead on November 19, 2012.

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