TUESDAY, Oct. 12, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Differences in sleep patterns, which can be objectively measured with wrist-worn accelerometers, are the norm among patients with lifetime psychiatric conditions, according to a study published online Oct. 12 in PLOS Medicine.

Michael Wainberg, Ph.D., from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, and colleagues examined the association of 10 accelerometer-derived sleep measures with inpatient psychiatric diagnoses and polygenic risk scores among 89,205 U.K. Biobank participants.

The researchers found that sleep patterns were observable across diagnoses, with each diagnosis associated with a median of 8.5 of the 10 accelerometer-derived sleep measures. Measures of sleep quality (e.g., sleep efficiency) were generally more affected than sleep duration. Effect sizes were generally small; the largest magnitude effect size across major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder/mania, and schizophrenia spectrum disorders was β = −0.11 for the association between lifetime inpatient major depressive disorder diagnosis and sleep efficiency. Associations were similar across race, ethnicity, and gender. Accelerometry-derived measures corresponded with self-reported sleep properties.

“This work showcases the power of wearable devices to provide fine-grained information about how sleep is disrupted in mental illness,” the authors said in a statement.

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