Health Care

Maintaining a daily rhythm is important for mental health, study suggests

Maintaining a daily rhythm is important for mental health, study suggests”

Researchers from the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom noted that a regular sleep-wake cycle is "crucial" for mental health and well-being, as they associate certain forms of disruption with mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder.

Dr. Laura Lyall, the research's lead author, said that the team had found a "robust association" between the disruption of circadian rhythms and the mood disorders.

Those who are inactive during the day and more active or restless at night have an increased risk of depression, bipolar disorder and low mood.

These disturbances to the body's internal clock, characterised by increased activity during rest periods and/or inactivity during the day, are also associated with mood instability, more subjective loneliness, lower happiness and health satisfaction, and worse cognitive function.

"But it's not just what you do at night", he said, "it's what you do during the day - trying to be active during the day and inactive in darkness", he told. Meanwhile, the findings of the study remained consistent even when controlling factors such as age, gender, education, lifestyle, and body mass index.

The Lancet Psychiatry reported people up that late were likely to rate themselves very lonely and not happy.

"Previous studies have identified associations between disrupted circadian rhythms and poor mental health, however, these were on relatively small samples".

"While our findings can't tell us about the direction of causality, they reinforce the idea that mood disorders are associated with disturbed circadian rhythms, and we provide evidence that altered rest-activity rhythms are also linked to worse subjective wellbeing and cognitive ability", says Dr Lyall".

For those who struggle to maintain a consistent circadian rhythm, certain strategies - such as avoiding technology at night - have proven to be an important part of good sleep hygiene.

To reach their findings, scientists at the University of Glasgow studied data collected on over 90,000 adults aged between 37 and 73 years old in the U.K, between 2006 and 2010.

A new study revealed that there was a connection between biological clock disruption and increased risk for mental health issues such as depression and bipolar disorder.

Professor Smith added: 'There are a lot of things people can do, especially during the winter, such as getting out of the house in the morning to get exposed to light and take exercise, so that by evening they are exhausted.



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