Disrupted Body Clock Linked to Mood Disorders

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Such individuals were also more likely to feel unhappy, lonely and unsatisfied with their health, and have slower reaction times.

The results held true even after adjusting for a wide range of influential factors including age, sex, lifestyle, education, body mass index, and childhood trauma.

A new study by the University of Glasgow has found a disrupted 24-hour body clock, typically caused by things like checking Facebook at midnight or getting up to make a cup of tea in the middle of the night, could increase your risk of depression and bipolar disorder. The clocks change how the tissues work in a daily rhythm. Disruption to these rhythms has been shown to profoundly affect human health. Greater disease risks arising from circadian disruption have been identified in the brain, pancreas, and stress systems.

The study can not say conclusively that body clock disturbances are what caused the mental risk, instead of the other way round.

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.

Disrupted Body Clock Linked to Mood Disorders
Disrupted Body Clock Linked to Mood Disorders

If you're scrolling on your phone past 10pm at night, you might be heightening your risk of mood disorders.

The researchers found that those who did not follow the natural rhythm had a greater likelihood of major depression or bipolar disorder and were also more likely to suffer worse wellbeing such as lower happiness levels.

"While our findings can't tell us about the direction of causality, they reinforce the idea that mood disorders are associated with disturbed circadian rhythms, and we provide evidence that altered rest-activity rhythms are also linked to worse subjective wellbeing and cognitive ability", says Dr Lyall". People with less of a distinction between active and resting periods scored a lower amplitude, either because they were not active enough during while they were awake or too active in the hours intended for sleep.

"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. This can be due to reduced activity during waking periods or increased activity during rest periods.

Professor Smith added: 'There are a lot of things people can do, especially during the winter, such as getting out of the house in the morning to get exposed to light and take exercise, so that by evening they are exhausted.

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