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Large-scale trans-diagnostic studies link mental illness with poor sleep quality




According to the largest study of this kind conducted so far, people diagnosed with a mental illness are more likely to have poor sleep quality compared to the general population.

CAMH-led study “Sleep measurements from accelerometers and lifelong psychiatric diagnosis” was published in the journal PLOS medicine..

“Differences in sleep patterns have shown poor sleep quality in participants previously diagnosed with mental illness, including waking up more often and for longer periods of time,” he said. Dr. Shreejoy Tripathy, an independent scientist at CAMH’s Krembil Center for Neuroinformatics, said. .. He also emphasized that measuring sleep quality is as important as measuring total volume in terms of its impact on mental health.

“The relationship between sleep and mental health is bidirectional,” said Dr. Michael Wayneberg, a postdoctoral fellow at the Clenville Center for Neuroinformatics, who is the lead author. “Sleep deprivation leads to poor mental health, and poor mental health causes sleep deprivation. Differences in sleep patterns were characteristic of all mental illnesses investigated, regardless of diagnosis.”

The study was based on data collected from 89,205 participants in the United Kingdom and agreed to wear an accelerometer on their wrists to track body movements 24 hours a day, 24 hours a day, 7 days a year. They also agreed to store the data in a digital biobank for research purposes. The author used computational algorithms (including machine learning) to summarize this vast amount of data into 10 indicators such as bedtime, wake-up time, naps, and longest uninterrupted sleep. They then compared these metrics between participants who had previously been diagnosed with a mental illness in their lifetime and those who did not.

We know that up to 80% of people with mental health problems may have problems falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up faster than intended. We know that sleep disorders, including financial ones, place a heavy burden on society. And we know that treatments that improve sleep quality, whether they are treatments or certain medications, can improve mental health outcomes. “

Dr. Michael Mack, CAMH Psychiatrist and Sleep Disorder Expert

This is the first large-scale transdiagnostic study of objectively measured sleep and mental health, and due to the study’s unique methodology, each individual’s natural home sleep rather than a laboratory setting. I was able to monitor my sleep in the environment.

“Until now, no one has seen objectively measured sleep in a mental illness situation on such a scale,” Dr. Tripacy said. “Part of the reason we wanted to do this research is that the advent of smartphones and wearables has made it possible to access data streams like never before.”

The Krembil Center for Neuroinformatics is currently developing a patient data biobank similar to that used in the United Kingdom for this study. The central goal of CAMH BrainHealth Databank is to use patient data, including the use of wearables outside the hospital, to provide current, improved and personalized mental health care, as well as future clinical research, discoveries, and To accelerate innovation.


Journal reference:

Weinberg, M. , et al. (2021) Association of sleep measurements from accelerometers with lifelong psychiatric diagnosis: A cross-sectional study of 89,205 participants from the UK Biobank. PLOS medicine..





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