People who sleep less than 8 hours a night more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety

Sleeping less than the recommended eight hours a night is associated with intrusive, repetitive thoughts like those seen in anxiety or depression, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Binghamton University Professor of Psychology Meredith Coles and former graduate student Jacob Nota assessed the timing and duration of sleep in individuals with moderate to high levels of repetitive negative thoughts (e.g., worry and rumination). The research participants were exposed to different pictures intended to trigger an emotional response, and researchers tracked their attention through their eye movements. The researchers discovered that regular sleep disruptions are associated with difficulty in shifting one’s attention away from negative information. This may mean that inadequate sleep is part of what makes negative intrusive thoughts stick around and interfere with people’s lives .

Full story at Science Daily

Earlier school start times may increase risk of adolescent depression and anxiety

Teenagers who start high school before 8:30 a.m. are at higher risk of depression and anxiety, even if they’re doing everything else right to get a good night’s sleep, a recent study out of Rochester, N.Y., suggests.

Led by University of Rochester Medical Center clinical assistant professor in Psychiatry Jack Peltz, Ph.D., the study, recently published in Sleep Health, not only reinforces the theorized link between sleep and adolescent mental health, but is among the first to demonstrate that school start times may have a critical impact on adolescent sleep and daily functioning. The findings provide additional evidence in the national debate over how school start times impact adolescent health.

Full story at Science Daily

Cannot sleep due to stress? Here is the cure

Everyone empirically knows that stressful events certainly affect sound sleep. Scientists in the Japanese sleep institute found that the active component rich in sugarcane and other natural products may ameliorate stress and help having sound sleep.

In today’s world ever-changing environment, demanding job works and socio-economic factors enforces sleep deprivation in human population. Sleep deprivation induces tremendous amount of stress, and stress itself is one of the major factors responsible for sleep loss or difficulty in falling into sleep. Currently available sleeping pills does not address stress component and often have severe side effects. Sleep loss is also associated with certain other diseases including obesity, cardiovascular diseases, depression, anxiety, mania deficits etc.

Full story at Science Daily

Late sleep-wake time preference linked to depression in individuals with diabetes

People with type 2 diabetes who are “night owls” and prefer the evening for activity report having more symptoms of depression than those who are early to bed and early to rise, regardless of the quality of their sleep, a new study finds. Study results are being presented Saturday at the Endocrine Society’s 99th annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

“These findings are important because depression is common in patients with type 2 diabetes,” said lead investigator Sirimon Reutrakul, M.D., an associate professor at Mahidol University Faculty of Medicine, Bangkok, Thailand. “Also, previous studies show that untreated depression is related to worse patient outcomes, including diabetes self-care, blood glucose control and diabetes complications.”

In the general public, people with a later “chronotype,” meaning a preference to go to bed late and wake up late, tend to have more symptoms of depression than do people who go to bed early and wake up early (early chronotype or morning preference), past studies have found. Reutrakul and her co-investigators wanted to study people with type 2 diabetes, who have an increased risk of depression, to learn whether a later chronotype, or preference for evening activity, was independently associated with greater depression symptoms.

Full story of late sleep-wake time and depression at Science Daily

Insight into sleep’s role in schizophrenia offers potential treatment path

A sleep abnormality likely plays an important role in schizophrenia, according to sleep experts at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). In a review of the growing body of evidence linking a reduction in sleep spindle activity to schizophrenia, the researchers suggested that a better understanding of this sleep abnormality’s genetic underpinnings opens the door to new treatments for the psychiatric disorder. Their paper appeared in the October 15 issue of Biological Psychiatry.

“One of the most exciting advances in sleep research over the last decade has been the growing understanding of sleep’s causal relationship to psychiatric disorders,” said senior author Robert Stickgold, MD, PhD, director of the Center for Sleep and Cognition at BIDMC. “Here, we reviewed the evidence that reduced sleep spindle activity predates the onset of schizophrenia and contributes to its cognitive deficits and other symptoms.”

Full story of sleep’s role in schizophrenia at Science Daily

Lack of sleep increases a child’s risk for emotional disorders later

When asked how lack of sleep affects emotions, common responses are usually grumpy, foggy and short-tempered. While many jokes are made about how sleep deprivation turns the nicest of people into a Jekyll and Hyde, not getting enough shut-eye can lead to far more serious consequences than irritability, difficulty concentrating and impatience.

Candice Alfano, a clinical psychologist and associate psychology professor at the University of Houston, says children who experience inadequate or disrupted sleep are more likely to develop depression and anxiety disorders later in life. Funded by a grant from the NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the study seeks to determine the precise ways inadequate sleep in childhood produces elevated risk for emotional disorders in later years.

“In particular, we are interested in understanding how children appraise, express, regulate and later recall emotional experiences, both when sleep is adequate and when it is inadequate,” said Alfano, who is the principal investigator of the study and director of the Sleep and Anxiety Center of Houston (SACH). “We focus on childhood, because similar to problems with anxiety and depression, sleep habits and patterns develop early in life and can be enduring.”

Full story of lack of sleep and children emotional disorder at Science Daily

Better sleep and tai chi reduce inflammation and promote health

Inflammatory processes occur throughout the body, with a primary function of promoting healing after injury. However, when too active, these inflammatory processes can also damage the body in many ways, and may contribute to heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, and other significant medical problems.

Stress, including sleep disturbance, is a major contributor to inflammation in the body. Insomnia, one of the most common sleep disorders, is associated with increased risk for depression, medical comorbidities, and mortality.

A new study published in the current issue of Biological Psychiatry reports that treatment for insomnia, either by cognitive behavioral therapy or the movement meditation tai chi, reduces inflammation levels in older adults over 55 years of age.

Full story of sleep and tai chi to promote health at Science Daily

Back to school and back to sleep

Sleep matters for kids, especially when they are stressed. A new study led by researchers Jinshia Ly, Jennifer J. McGrath and Jean-Philippe Gouin from Concordia University’s Centre for Clinical Research in Health and the PERFORM Centre shows that poor sleep might explain how stress impacts health in kids.

A good night’s sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep might buffer the impact of stress on kids’ cortisol level, which is a hormone produced in the adrenal gland to regulate the body’s cardiovascular, metabolic and immune systems. While short-term exposure to cortisol prepares the body for the “fight or flight” response, long-term exposure to cortisol can put people at risk for health problems, like heart diseases, weight gain and depression.

Full story of stress and getting sleep at Science Daily

Bedsharing with baby may impair sleep quality

Nocturnal awakenings are frequent among 6-month-old children, but sharing bed might make things worse.

Bedsharing reduce infants sleep duration and leads to a higher number of awakenings, a new study suggests.

Even though the researchers find an overall reduction in both sleep duration and nocturnal awakenings from 6 to 18 months of age, the chronicity of sleep problems was high — and impacted by prior sleep behavior and sleeping arrangements.

“Bedsharing was an independent and graded predictor of nocturnal awakenings, and short sleep duration, also after controlling for prior sleep,” they point out.

Full story of babies impaired sleep quality at Science Daily