Peek At Science: 2023 August 8

Peak At Science 20230103
Quantum Biology

Peek At Science: 2023 August 8

Don’t be fooled by the morning-versus-evening-person-feel-good story. Light is the most important zeitgeber for your circadian rhythm. A descriptive and exploratory study linked adolescent’s psychiatric problems to misaligned circadian rhythms. What do you know about light and circadian rhythms?

Adolescent circadian patterns link with psychiatric problems: A multimodal approach

Regarding self-reported circadian preference classifications, those with a preference for eveningness were more likely to have severe depression (p = 0.0002), panic disorder (p = 0.003), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) (p = 0.019), and OCD (p = 0.023) when compared to those with intermediate and morning preferences. Additionally, higher comorbidity was associated with a preference for eveningness (r = 0.26, p = 0.0001).

we found that sleep regularity and timing reflect wellbeing better than sleep duration. Sleep duration may include more noise stemming from fluctuating sleep need, while sleep timing and circadian rhythms have a more solid biological basis. Furthermore, several genes controlling circadian rhythms (such as CLOCK, CRYs, and PERs) have been shown to play a part in the pathophysiology of nearly all psychiatric disorders (Pritchett et al., 2012; Kirlioglu and Balcioglu 2020). Thus, it is likely that circadian patterns represent the neural substrate of mental wellbeing from a genetic, molecular, neurohumoral (i.e. HPA axis and melatonergic system), and behavioural level (Kirlioglu and Balcioglu 2020).

The current study shows thus, that biological circadian length may indeed have an even more pronounced association with psychiatric disorders than with actualized sleep timing.

Authors: Liisa Kuula, Risto Halonen, Jari Lipsanen, Anu-Katriina Pesonen

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