Tuesday February 25, 2020

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.

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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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Here’s How Prolonged Sitting Can lead to Depression Among Teenagers

Prolonged sitting is linked to depression risk in adolescents

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Depression
Young people who spend too much time sitting still are at an increased risk of depression. Pixabay

Here’s a health advice. Young people who spend too much time sitting still are at an increased risk of depression, researchers have warned.

The study, published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry, found that an additional 60 minutes of light activity (such as walking or doing chores) daily at age 12 was associated with a 10 per cent reduction in depressive symptoms at age 18.

“Our findings show that young people who are inactive for large proportions of the day throughout adolescence face a greater risk of depression by age 18,” said study lead author Aaron Kandola from University College London in the UK. “We found that any degree of physical activity that can reduce the time we spend sitting down is likely to be beneficial,” Kandola added.

For the findings, the research team used data from 4,257 adolescents, who have been participating in longitudinal research from birth as part of the University of Bristol’s Children of the 90s cohort study.

Depression
Youngsters who are inactive for large proportions of the day throughout adolescence face a greater risk of depression by age 18. Pixabay

The children wore accelerometers to track their movement for at least 10 hours over at least three days, at ages 12, 14 and 16. The accelerometers reported whether the child was engaging in light activity (which could include walking or hobbies such as playing an instrument or painting), engaging in moderate-to-physical activity (such as running or cycling), or if they were sedentary.

Depressive symptoms, such as low mood, loss of pleasure and poor concentration, were measured with a clinical questionnaire. The questionnaire measures depressive symptoms and their severity on a spectrum, rather than providing a clinical diagnosis.

Between the ages of 12 and 16, total physical activity declined across the cohort, which was mainly due to a decrease in light activity and an increase in sedentary behaviour.

The researchers found that every additional 60 minutes of sedentary behaviour per day at age 12, 14 and 16 was associated with an increase in depression score of 11.1 per cent, eight per cent or 10.5 per cent, respectively, by age 18.

Those with consistently high amounts of time spent sedentary at all three ages had 28.2 per cent higher depression scores by age 18, the study said.

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Every additional hour of light physical activity per day at age 12, 14 and 16 was associated with depression scores at age 18 that were 9.6 per cent, 7.8 per cent and 11.1 per cent lower, respectively.

“Light activity could be particularly useful because it doesn’t require much effort and it’s easy to fit into the daily routines of most young people,” said study senior author Joseph Hayes. (IANS)