Risk of Depression: Research shows that people with a genetic inheritance of short sleep are more likely to suffer from depression.
Research shows a complex relationship between sleep and depression. It shows that people with a strong genetic inheritance for short sleep are more likely to develop depressive symptoms within 4 to 12 years.
On the other hand, people with a genetic predisposition to depression do not necessarily develop symptoms of short sleep.
The big takeaway: An eight-year study published in the International Journal of Psychiatry found that those who slept five hours or less were 2.5 times more likely to develop depressive symptoms than those who slept optimally seven hours.
In the selected sample, more than 10 percent reported getting less than five hours of sleep, up from more than 15 percent during the study.
“There is a chicken-or-egg scenario between suboptimal sleep duration and depression, which often occur together, but which is often not resolved at first. Using genetic susceptibility to the disease, we determined that sleep can precede depressive symptoms, rather than the other way around.”
Lead study author Odessa S Hamilton (UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Public Health) said in a press release
Why is it important? Lack of sleep and depression have a genetic predisposition.
Given that they can be easily inherited, they are recognized as a significant health burden.
“Sleep and suboptimal depression increase with age, and with the phenomenon of global population aging, there is an increasing need to better understand the mechanisms linking depression and sleep deprivation.”
Study author Professor Andrew Steptoe, Head of Behavioral and Health Sciences, UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Public Health