Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Body clock disruption linked to depression

Body clock disruption linked to depression

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).

"Our findings indicate an association between altered daily circadian rhythms and mood disorders and wellbeing", says author Dr Laura Lyall from the University of Glasgow, UK.

The researchers found that maintaining a healthy internal body clock, which basically means staying more active during the day and sleeping properly at night, has a positive impact on the overall health of a person.

A disrupted body clock has been linked to an increased risk of developing mental disorders, including depression and bipolarity, in a new study. Circadian disruption was also associated with lower subjective wellbeing, higher neuroticism and greater mood instability.

People who fail to follow their natural body clock rhythm are more likely to have depression and mental health problems, a study has found. Disruption of the internal body clock can put you at raised risk of mood disorders.

Scientists measured the daily rest-activity rhythms - known as "relative amplitude" - of 90,000 people, adjusting for factors such as age, sex, lifestyle, education and previous childhood trauma.

All participants wore accelerometers for seven days between 2013 and 2015 to record their activity.

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"But it's not just what you do at night", he said, "it's what you do during the day - trying to be active during the day and inactive in darkness", he told.

"Circadian disruption is reliably associated with various adverse mental health and well-being outcomes, including major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder", the authors write. "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".

They are also likely to feel less happy and more lonely, the study found.

Researchers in the United Kingdom made the conclusion by studying the circadian rhythm: our waking and sleeping patterns throughout the 24-hour sleep cycle.

The findings have significant public health consequences, particularly for those who live in urban areas, where circadian rhythms are often disrupted due to artificial light, according to Smith.

Based on the observational nature of the study, the researchers were unable to show causality, meaning it is unclear whether the sleep disturbances caused the mental health problems or vice versa.

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