Insomnia may not be just a symptom of stress, bad diet or sedentary lifestyle finds a new study. It could be the reason behind depression and suicidal tendencies among the Japanese population. The findings of this study are published in the Open Medicine.
Chronic insomnia can lead to depression, and a better understanding of the link between the two conditions could be used to improve treatment, and prevent the condition from worsening while strengthening the world economy.
Using previous research that shows that insomnia causes a decrease in blood flow in the front dorsal lobe of the brain, and correlates it with depression, the authors of a Japanese study recently published in De Gruyter's open access journal Open Medicine entitled 'Insomnia and depression: Japanese hospital workers questionnaire survey' seeks to establish a link between insomnia and depression.
In March of 2011, over 7000 hospital staff in ten hospitals in the district of Rosai were given a self-administered anonymous questionnaire. The questions included information about the respondent's gender, age, and medical profession, as well as questions about their sleeping history two weeks prior to responding to the survey, as well as detailing their overtime work, and their history of disease and chronic pain. It also asked them to assess their own feelings of depression and fatigue.
The results were alarming. Thirteen percent of men, and nineteen percent of women suffered from insomnia, and the medical profession with the highest rate of insomnia were nurses at twenty percent. For comparison, about ten percent of Americans suffer from chronic insomnia.
The hope is a survey will be developed for healthcare professionals (and other high-stress professions) that can identify insomnia before it becomes a problem.