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Sleeplessness Linked to Mental Illness

Posted 246 days ago | 16.05.18

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Sleeplessness Linked to Mental Illness

A Lancet Psychiatry study of 91,000 people found a disrupted body clock was linked with depression, bipolar disorder and other problems. Scientists say that disruption to the body's internal clock may put people at increased risk of mood disorders.

The Glasgow researchers said it was a warning to societies becoming less in tune with the body’s aural circadian rhythms. People taking part in the study wore activity monitors for a week to see how disrupted their clocks were. Those who were highly active at night or inactive during the day were classed as being disrupted.

These people were between 6% and 10% more likely to have been diagnosed with a mood disorder than people who had a more typical pattern.

Prof Daniel Smith, one of the University of Glasgow researchers, said:  "These are not huge differences but what is striking is it is pretty robust across lots of interesting outcomes.”

The study found higher rates of major depression, bipolar disorder, more loneliness, lower happiness, worse reaction times and more mood instability in people with body-clock disruption although the study cannot tell if the disruption is causing the mental illness or vice versa. That requires further analysis.

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