Medicine

Body clock disruption linked to depression

Body clock disruption linked to depression

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.

"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.

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

"Our findings indicate an association between altered daily circadian rhythms and mood disorders and well-being", said study author Laura Lyall, from the University of Glasgow.

The study found those who did not follow the natural cycle were more likely to have mood disorders such as severe depression and bipolar disorder.

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.

For the new study, an worldwide 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. The work was funded by a Lister Prize Fellowship to Professor Smith.

A study of 91,000 people found following your body's natural clock is vital to stay mentally healthy. Those who do not have a greater chance of developing mental disorders
Body clock disruption linked to depression

Notably, the internal body clock is located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus region of the human brain.

People with the lower relative amplitude were at higher risk of mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. They plan to investigate this next.

Researchers from the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom noted that a regular sleep-wake cycle is "crucial" for mental health and well-being, as they associate certain forms of disruption with mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder.

The study included data from 91,105 participants aged between 37-73.

Our internal body clocks, or circadian rhythms, determine almost every biological process in our bodies, including sleeping, eating, and our blood pressure.

Additionally, the study population was "not ideal" according to Dr. Aiden Doherty from the University of Oxford in England, who added that 75% of mental health disorders start before the age of 24 years.

"It might be that the UK Biobank provides the impetus for a resource of a similar scale in adolescents and younger adults to help transform our understanding of the causes and consequences, prevention and treatment of mental health disorders".