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Poor sleep can accompany schizophrenia

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8:50am, August 9, 2006

The body's internal biological clock coordinates a host of rhythms—from hormone production to sleep-wake times—on about a 24-hour cycle. Although everyone's clock tends to run a little fast or slow, sunlight usually resets it. In people with schizophrenia, however, this clock can be seriously broken, a preliminary study finds.

Russell Foster of the University of Oxford in England and his colleagues strapped wristwatch-style activity monitors onto 14 volunteers with schizophrenia. They didn't hold jobs or otherwise have to wake up at a specific time each day. The team also monitored an equal number of healthy unemployed people. The neuroscientists recorded each subject's activity and rest cycles for up to 3 years.

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