Circadian Rhythm Disruptions Associated With Mood Disorders, Adverse Quality of Life

Circadian Rhythm Disruptions Associated With Mood Disorders, Adverse Quality of Life

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.

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.

'Previous studies have identified associations between disrupted circadian rhythms and poor mental health, but these were on relatively small samples'. It measured these disruptions using a device called an accelerometer that is worn on the wrist and measures one's daily activity levels.

Researchers analysed activity data in more than 91,000 participants aged 37-73 from the UK Biobank general population cohort to obtain an objective measure of patterns of rest and activity rhythms.

Mathematical modelling was used to investigate associations between low relative amplitude (reflecting greater activity during rest periods and/or daytime inactivity) and lifetime risk of mood disorder as well as wellbeing and cognitive function.

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

"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. The researchers also adjusted for a wide range of factors including age, sex, lifestyle, education, body mass index, and childhood trauma.

"I think one of the striking things that we found was just the consistency in the direction of our association across everything we looked at in terms of mental health", Smith said.

Daily circadian rhythms govern fundamental physiological and behavioural functions from body temperature to eating habits in nearly all organisms.

If you're scrolling on your phone past 10pm at night, you might be heightening your risk of mood disorders. It was also associated with decreased happiness and health satisfaction, and a higher risk of reporting loneliness.

Writing in journal The Lancet Psychiatry, Dr Aiden Doherty, senior research fellow from the University of Oxford's Nuffield Department of Population Health, said a next step could be to carry out further research on younger people.

The scientists studied people's circadian rhythms, which control functions such as immune systems, sleep patterns, and the release of hormones, to measure the daily rest-activity rhythms, also known as the relative amplitude.

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