Disrupted Rest-Wakeful Rhythms Tied to Greater Schizophrenia Severity

Both residential and outpatient individuals with schizophrenia tended to have fewer active hours during the day

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, May 9, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Disrupted rhythms of rest and wakefulness may worsen symptoms in schizophrenia patients, according to a study published online April 14 in Molecular Psychiatry.

Ahmad Mayeli, Ph.D., from University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues analyzed activity monitor data from 137 people with schizophrenia spectrum disorder (SSD; 79 residential and 58 outpatients) and 113 healthy controls.

The researchers found that both SSD groups showed lower M10 (average activity level during the most active 10 hours of the day) and longer sleep/rest duration than controls. Only residential patients had more fragmented and irregular rhythms than controls. Residential patients had lower M10 and higher steepness/abruptness of transitions between primary rest and activity periods, intradaily variability, and interdaily stability than outpatients. Residential patients had worse Brief Negative Symptom Scale scores than outpatients, which was partially accounted for by interdaily stability.

“Regulating sleep and wake cycles is important for your overall health and our findings can also be extended to people without underlying mental health conditions,” a coauthor said in a statement. “Most people can benefit from better sleep hygiene and paying attention to their daily routines by incorporating activity and variety in their daily lives.”

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