Working night shifts increases the risk of depression by rewiring the brain, research finds


WORKING night shifts increases the risk of depression by rewiring the brain, research shows.

Experiments found blue light alters a chemical circuit in grey matter that controls mood.

 Working night shifts increases the risk of depression by rewiring the brain, research finds

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Working night shifts increases the risk of depression by rewiring the brain, research findsCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Exposure at night caused mice to become less active and go off their grub, a rodent form of “the blues”.

And the Chinese team believe the same happens in humans.

This could have implications for those who use screens in bed.

Dr Huan Zhao said: “Besides generating vision, light modulates various physiological functions, including mood.

“Many now commonly experience an over-illuminated night life.”

Shift workers are a third more prone to depression.

Blue light emitting technology has also been linked to anxiety.

He added: “Exposure to excessive light-at-night – either from ‘sky-glow’ or the use of electronic devices – has been associated with a greater risk for depressive symptoms.

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“Many humans now commonly experience an over illuminated night life, which has raised serious concerns.

Experts claim that finding time to exercise, get outside during daylight hours and spend time with relatives can reduce the risk.

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