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Research finds that sleep habits can be depression warning sing

It is common knowledge in Columbia that sleep can affect your mood. Staying up late can make many of us grumpy or moody the next day. Hopefully, we can catch up on sleep the next night, though many people in the U.S. are chronically sleep-deprived.

For people who are living with depression, this can mean much more than one bad day here and there. A pair of new studies suggests that not getting the proper amount of sleep could be a risk factor for this mental condition. And it isn’t just about lack of sleep. Too much sleep may also be a bad sign.

One of the studies examined the sleep habits of nearly 1,800 same sex twins. They found those who routinely got a normal amount of sleep at night had a 27 percent heritability of depression symptoms. “Normal” sleep is defined by the researchers as between seven and just under nine hours per night.

Those subjects who averaged fewer than seven hours’ sleep had a 53 percent heritability of developing depression symptoms. But oversleeping also was a risk factor for depression. Subjects who slept nine hours or more a night had a 49 percent heritability.

A separate study also seemed to find an association between poor sleep and depression. This one focused on adolescents between 11 and 17 years old. They found that teens who got six or fewer hours of sleep per night were at higher risk of being diagnosed with depression.

Depression is a serious mental illness. It can impact every aspect of your life, from your personal relationships to your career. Many people cannot work while they are dealing with depression, so they turn to Social Security disability benefits.

Source: Huffington Post, “Too Little -- And Too Much -- Raises Depression Risk,” Feb. 4, 2014

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