University of Michigan: Irregular Sleep Patterns Could Lead to Depression

A new study has found that an uneven sleep pattern can raise an individual’s chance of getting depressed if the person has few hours of sleep all together, or staying up late the bulk of nights. The study also found that an individual who had a varying waking time almost every day tends to have a bad mood the next day, which is surprisingly the same for those who slept late the previous night, or those who got up earlier that day.

Man Sleeping

Man Sleeping

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The paper, which was issued in NPJ Digital Medicine, was compiled by researchers at the University of Michigan. Twenty-one hundred first-year residents were interviewed and had their sleep and moods evaluated for 1 year.

The extended extreme workdays and jagged work timetable that are the distinctive features during the opening year of residency practice following medical school were encountered by the interns, the first-year doctors. The working schedules of interns are so volatile that they were the reasons for them having irregular sleep routines.

All the participants of the study wore Fitbit devices or smartwatches on their wrists, which can track their sleep patterns as well as other functions and activities. They were asked to pass on their everyday feeling on a mobile app. They also underwent examinations every 4 months to check for any signs of depression.

There have been many studies done before which have shown the close relationship linking sleep, everyday state, and long-term danger of distress. This study found that those who had fluctuating sleep timetables scored big on the regulated sadness symptom test. The number of depression signs and decreased everyday mood was also high for those who frequently lingered up late, or had little sleep.

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The newest commercial smart accessories are worn by millions of people in today’s world. These devices are helping people to track their sleep patterns as well as many daily activities such as behavioral and physiological aspects of thoughtful well-being. These devices have broadened the field of research.

Why is this study important?

The verdicts of the study added another evidence on previously identified factors that are linked with an increased chance of depression amongst present-day interns. The main learning point from the research was that irregularity in sleep is an overlooked component linked with sadness and psychological wellbeing. The study also found that smart wearable accessories can be helpful.

The study included a comparatively young bunch of groups, averaging twenty-seven years old who held both university and medical qualifications, hence this may not represent the wide range of the population. But all of them endured alike job burdens and timetables hence they are acceptable categories to test theories.

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What can be done in the future?

The investigators wish that different researches will be conducted to check for the difference in sleep time are comparable in separate groups of people applying similar kinds of gadgets and techniques.


Day-to-day variability in sleep parameters and depression risk: a prospective cohort study of training physicians



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