Mental Illness Is linked To Poor Sleep Quality, Researchers Find

Mental Health News – A study led by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) found that individuals who have been diagnosed with a mental illness tend to have poor sleep quality.

Researchers examined 89,205 participants in the U.K and requested them to wear an accelerometer on their wrist for tracking their body movement 24 hours a day for seven days. The participants allowed the team to store their data in a digital biobank for research purposes

Computational algorithms are used in this study, including machine learning to summarize the vast data into ten matrics, such as bedtime, naps, wake time, and the longest duration of uninterrupted sleep. They compared these metrics between the participants and discovered a strong correlation between sleep quality and mental health.

“The differences in sleep patterns indicated worse sleep quality for participants with a previous diagnosis of mental illness, including waking up more often and for longer periods of time,” said Dr. Shreejoy Tripathy, senior author of this study published in the PLOS Medicine.

According to the lead author Dr. Michael Wainberg, the relationship between psychological well-being and sleep quality is bidirectional. “Poor sleep contributes to poor mental health and poor mental health contributes to poor sleep. Sleep pattern differences were a feature of all mental illnesses we studied regardless of diagnosis,” he said.

“We know that up to 80 percent of people with mental health disorders can have problems with falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up earlier than they intended,” said Dr. Michael Mak, CAMH psychiatrist. He further added that any therapy or medication that improves sleep quality can also improve mental health conditions.

To Know More You May Refer To:

Wainberg, M., Jones, S. E., Beaupre, L. M., Hill, S. L., Felsky, D., Rivas, M. A., Lim, A. S., Ollila, H. M., & Tripathy, S. J. (2021). Association of accelerometer-derived sleep measures with lifetime psychiatric diagnoses: A cross-sectional study of 89,205 participants from the UK Biobank. PLOS Medicine, 18(10), e1003782. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003782

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