CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Sleep disturbances linked to increased suicide risk

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You may be surprised that it's from "too much sun":

"Despite a belief that suicides tend to rise in late autumn and early winter months because of darkness, the new findings suggest that places where constant sunlight in summer seasons is a fact of life may be just as dangerous," says this report.

Actually, I can perfectly understand why, because as much as I hate winter when it seems to be always dark at this latitude, the fact that it gets light way too early in the morning at this time of year is waking both me and the cats up half way through the night. This is playing havoc with my sleep patterns - which were pretty disturbed in any case - and is contributing even more to making me feel constantly tired and strung out.

Disturbed sleep, as we know, can contribute to the pain of fibromyalgia, increasing muscle stiffness, exacerbating fatigue, and heightening depression. And when that's 24/7, it really is only a short hop, skip and a jump to feeling so desperate you want to end it all. 

Another reason for those of us with these disorders to live closer to the equator where not only does the warmth help, but there are less notable differences between daylight hours in summer and winter.

2 comments:

Lou Cheese said...

It's tough for me, because when looking out the window on a sunny morning I'm instantly reminded of the life I used to have and the things I would normally be doing, and how I'm probably not going to be out there much anymore....

Light sensitivity from chronic illness definitely contributes to early waking. Before, I could sleep through anything. Now I wake up with the sun (a couple of times before I eventually get out of bed).

ronsrants said...

My flat faces due south, which exacerbates the problem. A few years ago I replaced the curtains with space blankets. Not elegant, but certainly effective at muting the heat of the sun and also, as a bonus, shutting out much of the light. This is especially beneficial early in the morning when the sun is low in the sky (in the evening it's not a problem).

A sleep mask is another solution. Not sure what the answer is for the cats.

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