Disrupted body clock can pose serious risks of mental health


A lot of us awake during the night because of some or the other reasons. It can be because of the job, electronic gadgets, or social media. Recently scientist has found that those who have their body clock disturbed by being awake at night risk developing depression and mood disorders.

That is the discovery from a study of more than 90,000 people by the researchers at the University of Glasgow.

The scientists studied people’s circadian rhythms, which control functions such as immune systems, sleep patterns, and the release of hormones, to measure the daily rest-activity rhythms, also known as the relative amplitude.

People with the lower relative amplitude were at higher risk of mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder.

A study finds that night owls are more prone to risking mental health problems, such as depression and bipolar disorder.

They are also likely to feel more lonely and less happy, the study revealed.

Dr. Laura Lyall, the research’s lead author, said that the team had found a “robust association” between the disruption of circadian rhythms and the mood disorders.

“Previous studies have identified associations between disrupted circadian rhythms and poor mental health, however, these were on relatively small samples.”

Daniel Smith, the senior author of the paper, told that using mobile phones late at night, or waking up in the early hours to make a cup of tea are among few things that can affect sleep.

He also told that a 10 pm cut-off will give the average adult time to wind down before switching off the lights and going to beauty sleep.

“But it’s not just what you do at night,” he said, “it’s what you do during the day – trying to be active during the day and inactive in darkness,” he told.

“Especially in the winter, making sure you get out in the morning in the fresh air is just as important in getting a good night’s sleep as not being on your mobile phone.”

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.

“This is important globally because more and more people are living in urban environments that are known to increase the risk of circadian disruption and, by extension, adverse mental health outcomes.”

The study was published in The Lancet Psychiatry.