Saturday August 18, 2018

Healthy Sleep Key to Ward off Depression Later

This new research emphasises that we can make an investment in our health by prioritising sleep

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Remove your make-up before you go to sleep.
Remove your make-up before you go to sleep. Pixabay
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Don’t sleep deprive yourself as it may be a precursor for major depression as you reach adulthood – occurring before other symptoms of major depression and additional mood disorders hit you hard.

A genetic study of adult twins and a community-based study of adolescents has reported novel links between sleep duration and depression.

Both short and excessively long sleep durations appear to activate genes related to depressive symptoms.

“We were surprised that the heritability of depressive symptoms in twins with very short sleep was nearly twice the heritability in twins sleeping normal amounts of time,” said Nathaniel Watson, associate professor of neurology and co-director of the University of Washington Medicine Sleep Centre in Seattle.

This new research emphasises that we can make an investment in our health by prioritising sleep, added M. Safwan Badr, president, American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

A study of 1,788 adult twins is the first to demonstrate a gene by environment interaction between self-reported habitual sleep duration and depressive symptoms.

Results suggest that sleep durations outside the normal range increase the genetic risk for depressive symptoms.

Healthy sleep is a necessity for physical, mental and emotional well-being
Healthy sleep is a necessity for physical, mental and emotional well-being. Pixabay

Among twins with a normal sleep duration of seven to 8.9 hours per night, the total heritability of depressive symptoms was 27 percent.

However, the genetic influence on depressive symptoms increased to 53 percent among twins with a short sleep duration of five hours per night and 49 percent among those who reported sleeping 10 hours per night.

Another study of 4,175 individuals between age 11 and 17 is the first to document reciprocal effects for major depression and short sleep duration among adolescents using prospective data.

Sleeping six hours or less per night increases the risk for major depression, which, in turn, increases the risk for decreased sleep among adolescents, said the study.

Also Read: Even Light Exercises Have Health Benefits

Optimising sleep may be one way to maximise the effectiveness of treatments for depression such as psychotherapy.

“Healthy sleep is a necessity for physical, mental and emotional well-being,” said Badr.

According to Robert E. Roberts, professor of behavioural sciences at University of Texas, “sleep disturbance and hours of sleep should be part of the medical history of adolescents to ascertain risk”.

The studies were published in the journal Sleep. (IANS)

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Taking Care of Mental Health Problems in Children, may Boost Parent’s Mental Health Too

When the severity of a teenagers's depression lessened, so did similar symptoms in the parent, regardless of what treatment was used: Study

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walking, was associated with good self-perceived general health
walking, was associated with good self-perceived general health. Pixabay

The bond between parent and child extends far beyond sharing similar looks or behaviours as a new study suggests that treating depression in teenagers may benefit their parents’ mental health too.

The findings suggest that when a teenager’s depression improved through treatment, so did the depression experienced by his or her parents.

“Depression is a massive public health concern that will take a variety of approaches to better manage. We believe our study is among the first to evaluate how the emotional health of a child can impact that of the parents,” said co-author Mark A. Reinecke from the Northwestern University in the US.

For the study, presented at American Psychological Association’s 126th Annual Convention, the research team involved 325 teenagers who had been diagnosed with depression and 325 of their parents or caregivers.

The teenagers were randomly assigned to one of three groups — those who received cognitive behavioural therapy, those who took anti-depressants or those who used a combination of both.

Depression
More young people today are reporting persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness and suicidal thoughts. Flickr

The first treatment period ran for nearly one year, with an additional year of follow-up visits, the researchers said.

One-quarter of the parents who participated also reported moderate to severe levels of depression before the treatment period, the researcher added.

The treatment process was not family-based, though some portions included the parent.

The researchers found a positive ripple effect because when the severity of a teenagers’s depression lessened, so did similar symptoms in the parent, regardless of what treatment was used.

Also Read: Molecule Deficiency May Help Diagnose Severe Depression

“More young people today are reporting persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness and suicidal thoughts,” said Kelsey R. Howard from the varsity.

“This research may help health care providers as we grapple as a nation with how to address these alarming trends,” Howard noted. (IANS)