Researchers found that having a regular pattern of sleeping and staying active during the day can keep at bay many modern-day mental health issues like depression, mood disorders, and bipolar disorders.
Also, following the body’s natural daily rhythms can greatly improve the feeling of well-being and brain’s functions.
The study, which appeared this week in The Lancet Psychiatry, involved 91,000 British people. Study authors measured the disruptions in the body’s internal clock with help from accelerometers that participants agreed to wear on their wrists.
The analysis revealed that people that consistently disrupted their circadian rhythms by staying up late every night and having lower levels of activity during the day were more likely to be depressed or to develop bipolar disorder.
Disruptions in circadian rhythms were also tied to lower cognitive function, according to computer-based reaction time tests.
A Good Night’s Sleep Is Critical for Mental Health
Scientists tracked the volunteers for seven days. Participants filled out questionnaires about their well-being and mental health state online.
It’s widely known that a good night’s sleep is a good thing for well-being and health. That’s not a big surprise,
senior researcher Daniel Smith, MD, said.
Dr. Smith recommends having a regular rhythm during daylight as well to improve mental health and well-being. It is important to stay active during the day, and sleep at night. Reducing access to technology before bedtime can greatly help achieve this goal.
The link between regular sleep patterns and lower risk of mental health issues remained significant even after the study’s results were adjusted for other risk factors that may influence the outcomes, like education, sex, age, and body mass index (BMI).
The body’s internal clock is regulated by the hypothalamus, an area of the brain that controls temperature, drinking, eating, sleep, and mental wellbeing.
Image Source: Public Domain Pictures
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