Circadian Rhythm Disruption Associated with Mood Disorders


Largest study to date finds link between disruption to body clock and severe depression

The brain's hard-wired circadian time-keeper governs day-night cycles, influencing sleep patterns, the release of hormones and even body temperature. The researchers also adjusted for a wide range of factors including age, sex, lifestyle, education, body mass index, and childhood trauma.

Now, a new research published in The Lancet Psychiatry has found that people who experience disrupted 24-hour cycles of rest and activity are more likely to develop mood disorders, as well as loneliness feelings, and lower levels of happiness. "However, these are observational associations and can not tell us whether mood disorders and reduced well-being cause disturbed rest-activity patterns, or whether disturbed circadian rhythmicity makes people vulnerable to mood disorders and poorer well-being. I don't think it's unreasonable to say this is another piece of evidence that might suggest we should all be more mindful of our natural rhythms of activity and rest", Professor Smith explained.

A new study established a link between biological clock disruptions and increased risk for mental health issues.

Regarding the research, he told: "The next step will be to identify the mechanisms by which genetic and environmental causes of circadian disruption interact to increase an individual's risk of depression and bipolar disorder".

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. They are fundamental for maintaining health in humans, and integrity of circadian rhythms is particularly important for mental health and wellbeing.

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. "It might be that the UK Biobank provides the template and 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".

[1] Quotes direct from authors and can not be found in text of Article. It decides your sleeping time in a 24 hour day. Changes in circadian patterns are often the first symptom in mental illnesses.

The circadian rhythm disruptions were defined as an increased nighttime activity, decreased daytime activity, or both at the same time.

Latest News