Social jetlag is associated with an increased likelihood of having depressive symptoms among the Japanese working population: the Furukawa Nutrition and Health Study

Sleep. 2020 Jan 13;43(1):zsz204. doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsz204.


Study objectives: Social jetlag, a mismatch between biological and social timing, has been reported to be associated with depressive symptoms among general population. However, evidence on this association is lacking among non-shift workers, who are under pressure to adapt themselves to a work schedule. We investigated the cross-sectional association of social jetlag with depressive symptoms among Japanese non-shift workers.

Methods: This study included 1,404 employees, aged 18-78 years, who completed a study questionnaire at a periodic health checkup. Social jetlag was calculated as the absolute value of the difference in the midpoint of sleep times between weekdays and weekends. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratio (OR) with adjustments for potential confounders including diet and chronotype.

Results: Of the study participants, 63.5%, 28.4%, and 8.1% had less than 1 hour, 1 to less than 2 hours, and at least 2 hours of social jetlag, respectively. Greater social jetlag was significantly associated with an increased likelihood of having depressive symptoms. The multivariable-adjusted OR (95% confidence interval) were 1.30 (0.95 to 1.78) and 2.14 (1.26-3.62) for 1 to less than 2 hour and at least 2 hours compared to less than 1 hour of social jetlag. The association between social jetlag and depressive symptoms appeared to be linear, according to restricted cubic spline regression.

Conclusion: Results suggest that greater social jetlag is associated with an increased likelihood of having depressive symptoms among non-shift workers.

Keywords: Japanese; cross-sectional study; depressive symptoms; non-shift worker; social jetlag.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Japan
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling
  • Probability
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Work Schedule Tolerance / psychology*
  • Young Adult