Sunday August 25, 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)

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Compound Present in Red Wine can Treat Depression and Anxiety

"Resveratrol may be an effective alternative to drugs for treating patients suffering from depression and anxiety disorders," said Ying Xu

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Red Wine, Depression, Anxiety
The plant compound resveratrol displays anti-stress effects by blocking the expression of an enzyme which controls stress in the brain. Pixabay

In a good news for wine lovers, researchers have found a compound present in red wine which can treat depression and anxiety.

The plant compound resveratrol displays anti-stress effects by blocking the expression of an enzyme which controls stress in the brain.

“Resveratrol may be an effective alternative to drugs for treating patients suffering from depression and anxiety disorders,” said Ying Xu, Associate Professor, University at Buffalo in the US.

The findings, published in the journal Neuropharmacolog, shed light onto how neurological processes are impacted by resveratrol — a compound having numerous health benefits and found in the skin and seeds of grapes and berries.

Red Wine, Depression, Anxiety
In a good news for wine lovers, researchers have found a compound present in red wine which can treat depression and anxiety. Pixabay

While research has identified resveratrol to have antidepressant effects, the compound’s relationship to phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4), an enzyme influenced by the stress hormone corticosterone, was unknown.

Corticosterone regulates the body’s response to stress. Too much stress, however, can lead to excessive amounts of the hormone circulating in the brain and, ultimately, to depression or other mental disorders.

The research also reveals that PDE4, induced by excessive amounts of corticosterone, causes depression- and anxiety-like behaviour.

The enzyme lowers cyclic adenosine monophosphate — a messenger molecule that signals physiological changes such as cell division, change, migration and death — in the body, leading to physical alterations in the brain.

Also Read- Microsoft Releases Beta Version of Updated Cortana App for Windows 10

Resveratrol displayed neuroprotective effects against corticosterone by inhibiting the expression of PDE4. The research lays the groundwork for the use of the compound in novel antidepressants.

According to the researchers, although red wine contains resveratrol, consumption of alcohol has various health risks, including addiction. (IANS)