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Body Clock Disruptions Can Increase Mental Health Risks Study Shows

By Jen

May 16, 2018 at 2:12pm


If you've been neglecting your night's sleep, it could be having a bigger impact on your wellbeing than you thought.

Disruptions to your body clock increases the risk of depression and mood disorders, a large study has found. 

Your body clock has a huge influence on your body with your mood, hormone levels, body temperature and metabolism all fluctuating in a daily rhythm.

Scientists from the University of Glasgow looked at these rhythms in 90,000 people in an effort to measure how disruptions to their body clocks were effecting their mood.

People with lower daily rest-activity rhythms (being active at night and inactive during the day) were found to be at greater risk of several adverse mental health outcomes even when factors like sex, lifestyle, age and previous childhood were taken into account.

Girl Head In Hands

Things like using mobile phones late at night or waking in the early hours to make a cup of tea were among the bad habits that contribute to "poor sleep hygiene", Daniel Smith, senior author of the paper, told The Times.

"But it's not just what you do at night, it's what you do during the day - trying to be active during the day and inactive in darkness," he said.
"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.

The team found a "robust association" between disruption of circadian rhythms and mood disorders.

Dr Laura Lyall, the study's lead author, said, "previous studies have identified associations between disrupted circadian rhythms and poor mental health, but these were on relatively small samples."

The study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry, also found that low relative amplitude was also linked to low subjective rating of happiness and health satisfaction. 

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