Sunday February 17, 2019

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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Soothing colours, right scent aid sound sleep. Pixabay

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)

Next Story

Premature to Say Social Media Use Leads to Depression

Examining the role that these differences play will help clarify the ways in which social media interacts with mental health, with implications for parents, policymakers, and healthcare professionals alike, the study noted

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Multiple apps are displayed on an iPhone in New York.. VOA

Use of social media does not necessarily cause depressive symptoms later in adolescents and young adults, according to a recent research.

The study, however, showed that relatively higher depressive symptoms resulted due to more social media use later only among adolescent girls.

The latest study stands in contrast to recent claims that suggests teenagers’ use of social media could lead to depression.

“You have to follow the same people over time in order to draw the conclusion that social media use predicts greater depressive symptoms. By using two large longitudinal samples, we were able to empirically test that assumption,” said lead author Taylor Heffer from the Brock University in Canada.

For the study, the team surveyed 594 adolescents and 1,132 college undergraduates.

The results, published in Clinical Psychological Science, showed that social media use did not predict depressive symptoms later among adolescents or college undergraduates; rather, greater depressive symptoms predicted more social media use over time, but only among adolescent girls.

Depression
Depression is a common mental disorder. Flickr

“This finding contrasts with the idea that people who use a lot of social media become more depressed over time. Instead, adolescent girls who are feeling down may turn to social media to try and make themselves feel better,” said Heffer.

Overall, the research suggests that the fear surrounding social media use and its impact on mental health may be premature.

“When parents read media headlines such as ‘Facebook Depression’, there is an inherent assumption that social media use leads to depression,” added Heffer.

Also Read- Exercise Can Help Fight Against Deep Abdominal Belly Fat: Study

In addition, different groups of people use social media for different reasons including making social comparisons or while feeling down. While another group of people may use it for more positive reasons, such as keeping in contact with friends, according to the study.

Examining the role that these differences play will help clarify the ways in which social media interacts with mental health, with implications for parents, policymakers, and healthcare professionals alike, the study noted. (IANS)