Disturbed body clock linked to mood swings

17 May, 2018, 00:45 | Author: Colin Gill
  • Disruption of daily rhythms linked to mental health problems

In addition to increased risk of depression and bipolar disorder, lower relative amplitude was also associated with low subjective ratings of happiness and health satisfaction, with higher risk of reporting loneliness, and with slower reaction time (an indirect measure of cognitive ability).

It was carried out by University of Glasgow researchers, who say disruption to normal circadian rhythms, which work on a 24-hour sleep/wake cycle, is associated with a greater susceptibility to mood disorders.

Interestingly it's not just disrupted sleep that can upset the fine balance of your circadian rhythm, it's also important to be active during the day and inactive at night - so that evening gym session probably isn't for the best.

People who fail to follow their natural body clock rhythm are more likely to have depression and mental health problems, a study has found.

The findings are consistent with research indicating a link between sleep disruptions and mood disorders.

The findings come from the largest study of its kind, involving more than 91,000 people across the UK.

Laura M. Lyall, Ph.D., from the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom, and colleagues used data from a subset of participants from the U.K. Biobank general population cohort whose activity levels were recorded by a wrist-worn accelerometer.

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Around one in 25 participants were about as active during the day as they were at night.

The results held true even when the potential impact of factors such as old age, unhealthy lifestyle, obesity, and childhood trauma were taken into account, they reported in The Lancet Psychiatry, a medical journal.

"This study is the first large-scale investigation of the association of objectively measured circadian rhythmicity with various mental health, well-being, personality and cognitive outcomes, with an unprecedented sample size of more than 90 000 participants", Doherty wrote in an email. "However, these are observational associations and can not tell us whether mood disorders and reduced wellbeing cause disturbed rest-activity patterns, or whether disturbed circadian rhythmicity makes people vulnerable to mood disorders and poorer wellbeing".

For those who struggle to maintain a consistent circadian rhythm, certain strategies - such as avoiding technology at night - have proven to be an important part of good sleep hygiene.

"The next step will be to identify the mechanisms by which genetic and environmental causes of circadian disruption interact to increase an individual's risk of depression and bipolar disorder".

Now it's not clear whether the sleep problems cause the mental health issues-or maybe it's the other way around.

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