More links found between sleep deprivation and depression
Not getting enough sleep may increase a person’s risk of depression, according to two new large studies on both adults and adolescents.
In the first study, scientists from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine examined the relationship between sleep and heritability of depressive symptoms among 1,788 adult twins. The findings revealed that the heritability of depressive symptoms was the smallest—27 percent—among twins who slept between seven and 8.9 hours per night. This number increased to 53 percent among twins who slept five hours per night, and it also increased to 49 percent among the twins who slept 10 hours per night. The study suggests that both sleep deprivation and excessive sleep can activate genes related to depression, researchers said.
In the second study, the scientists recruited more than 4,000 adolescents between ages 11 and 17. Researchers documented the reciprocal effects for major depression and short sleep duration and found that getting six hours of sleep or fewer per night increased risk for major depression, which then increased risk for decreased sleep. According to the researchers, the study suggests that sleep deprivation may be a precursor for major depression in adolescents.
The results from both studies, published in the journal Sleep, provides further evidence that sleep is necessary for physical, mental and emotional well-being in people of all ages and recommend that people of all ages make it a priority to get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night.