Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Medicine | By Douglas Stevenson

Body clock disruption linked to depression

Body clock disruption linked to depression

According to a new study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry, an interrupted body clock can also increase the risk of depression, bipolar disorder, and other mood disorders.

The researchers analysed activity data in 91,105 participants aged 37-73 from the UK Biobank, a large study group taken from the general population. A 2009 study, for example, showed that men who worked night shifts for four years or more were more likely to have anxiety and depression than those who work during the day.

"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.

For the new study, an global team led by University of Glasgow psychologist Laura Lyall analysed data - taken from the UK Biobank, one of the most complete long-term health surveys ever done - on 91,105 people aged 37 to 73.

Previous research has identified associations between body clock disruption and mental health, but these were typically based on self reports of activity and sleeping patterns, had small sample sizes, or adjusted for few potential cofounders.

The volunteers wore accelerometers that measured patterns of rest and activity and had this record compared to their mental history, also taken from the UK Biobank.

It was also associated with greater mood instability, higher neuroticism scores, more subjective loneliness, lower happiness and health satisfaction, and slower reaction time.

Researchers from the University of Glasgow recruited 91,105 people in the United Kingdom to wear activity monitors for a week to see how disrupted their body clocks were.

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. If they were highly active at late hours, or inactive during the day, this was classed as a disruption. A circadian relative amplitude variable was derived from these data, and the correlation with mood disorder, well-being, and cognitive variables was assessed. This meant those people who were up at their mobile phones at night or woke up for a snack or tea or a drink middle of the night. He added that the main sufferers were people with poor sleep hygiene.

DISRUPTION TO THE body's internal clock is associated with greater susceptibility to mood disorders such as severe depression and bipolar disorder, the largest study of its kind has found.

A study finds that night owls are more prone to risking mental health problems, such as depression and bipolar disorder.

However he added that what people do during the day is also important, saying they should try to remain active during daylight hours and inactive at night.

"Especially in the winter, making sure you get out in the morning in the fresh air is just as important in getting a good night's sleep as not being on your mobile phone", said Smith.

Like this: