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Scientists just made a breakthrough in fighting treatment-resistant depression

Plus: One exercise is better than the rest at achieving deep sleep.

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Honesty is critical if you intend to tell a powerful story that makes any sort of impact. And there are few things more complicated than being honest about one’s own mental health. Staff writer Katie MacBride does just that in today’s lead story about new help for treatment-resistant depression.

I’m Nick Lucchesi, and this is Inverse Daily, your daily digest of the latest science and innovation stories from the editorial staff at Inverse, the coolest place to get smarter. Thanks for being with us.

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A remarkable breakthrough Katie MacBride writes that while deep brain stimulation for depression has always yielded mixed results, new evidence discovered by researchers may change that:

Being diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression went like this: Somewhere on the internet, I read a story that explained treatment-resistant depression was a diagnosis for people who had routinely failed to respond to antidepressants.

At that time, I was on something like my fifth antidepressant. When I saw my doctor, I asked her if that meant I had treatment-resistant depression. She took a quick look at all the medications I’d been on and said, “yep.”

The initial article I’d read let me know I wasn’t alone, but I didn’t yet know how common the condition is. About 30 percent of people with major depressive disorder (MDD) don’t respond to traditional antidepressants — that’s over half a million people in the United States alone. When the outcomes for people with MDD can include death, the world desperately needs effective treatments for the condition.

A proof-of-concept study published Monday in Nature Medicine may indicate a significant breakthrough for researchers trying to find treatments for the stubborn condition.

Read the full story.

Go deeper on mental health:

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Achieve better sleep Sarah Sloat reports that a recent analysis of 15 studies finds evening high-intensity exercise performed two to four hours before bedtime did not disrupt sleep:

One type of exercise has been found to be the most effective at spurring deep sleep: cycling.

A co-author of a study on the matter, Melodee Mograss, points out that their research is an encouraging sign to people who aren’t sure if they can squeeze in a workout.

“We hope that our work will allow individuals ways for continuing with healthy behaviors such as exercise and sleep, even during busy periods,” Mograss tells Inverse.

Read the full story.

Go deeper on exercise:

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The optimal number of hours to sleep Tara DiMaio presents the latest in our Longevity Hacks series, a story about how a consistent lack of sleep may lead to bad snacking habits. That’s the finding from a new study:

When we fall asleep, where do we go? If you are Billie Eilish, it’s top of the charts, but for the rest of us — scientists included — the answer is a mystery. But we all sleep, and, in the United States at least, we almost all snack, too.

The overwhelming majority of adults in the United States (95.5 percent by one estimate) eat at least one snack every day. Whether you choose a donut or an apple may not depend only on your mood, willpower, or dietary restrictions but also on your sleep — specifically, how many hours you get each night.

New research finds that a consistent lack of sleep may lead to poor snacking habits. To state the obvious, when you are asleep, you are not eating, so more sleep means more time not eating. But the truth of the relationship is more complex.

Read the full story.

Go deeper on sleep:

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Elon Musk shares an electrifying video Mike Brown reports that Starship, SpaceX's under-development rocket, braved the elements during an impressive lightning display:

SpaceX’s next rocket is already making a dramatic impression. On Saturday, CEO Elon Musk shared a video on Twitter of the company’s Texas facility, where teams are hard at work on the upcoming Starship rocket.

The fully-reusable Starship, designed to one day send humans to Mars, is preparing for its first orbital flight. The video, taken from a lightning-filled stormy night, shows how it’s already electrifying audiences.

Read the full story and see the video.

Go deeper on SpaceX:

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