Jan 31, 2008

Circadian rhythms and seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

I'm always surprised at how much attention the press gives to sleep and circadian rhythms. While this is of general interest to the general public, these topics should be of great interest to the shiftworking world. Here are a few items we've come across today:

Winter Blues May Be Treatable Depression
The NBC affiliate in Orlando, Florida, USA (WESH) discusses seasonal affective disorder (SAD), light treatment and other issues pertaining to winter-time depression. Shiftworkers can also be susceptible to this sort of disorder.

Gray skies bring winter blues
The Orion Online (Chico, California, USA) also discusses seasonal affective disorder, with a particular slant on college students, 25% of whom are affected by winter blues.

Human skin cells hide circadian clock -- are you a Lark or an Owl?
An article in NewScientist discusses a National Academy of Sciences journal article showing that genes as well as environmental factors such as day length have a major influence on the circadian clock. WebMD also published an article based on the same study -- "Morning Lark or Night Owl? Genes Know Skin Cells May Reflect Whether Someone Is a Morning Person or a Night Person."


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