Link Between Circadian Rhythms and Mood Disorders

an alarm clock to represent the link between circadian rhythms and mood disorders

sleep-wake schedule

It’s not necessarily news that your sleep habits impact your mood – but a new large-scale study links your sleep-wake cycles to your overall mental health.

A study of more than 91,000 adults in the United Kingdom found that folks with more circadian rhythm disruptions – defined by the researchers as increased activity at night, decreased activity during the day or both – had a higher risk of symptoms consistent with bipolar disorder or major depression. They were also more likely to experience decreased feelings of well-being and reduced cognitive functioning.

The study, published Tuesday in the journal The Lancet Psychiatry, measured participants circadian rhythm disruptions and daily activity levels using a device called an accelerometer.

“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,” Dr. Daniel Smith, professor of psychiatry at the University of Glasgow and a leading author on the study, told “But I think what’s less well-known and what comes out of this work is that not only is a good night’s sleep important, but having a regular rhythm of being active in daylight and inactive in darkness over time is important for mental well-being.”

The researchers emphasized the importance of the following habits to help maintain a good daily rhythm:

  • Practice good sleep hygiene, including putting away that smartphone.
  • Expose yourself to plenty of sunshine during waking hours.
  • Stay active in morning and midday to help your body get tired.
  • Stick to a constant sleep-wake schedule – even on weekends.

A Healthier You at Providence
Taking time to take care of you is an important part of lasting recovery. To this end, we offer our clients an Aftercare Integration Program (AIS) to give them the tools to manage stress, time, and more as they return to their careers. To find out more, call today: (866) 247-3307.

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