Having good sleeping patterns benefits not only your physical health, but it also keeps you from psychological disorders like depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. A study published in the Lancet Psychiatry has discovered that those who have experienced disturbances on their internal body clock are more likely to report mood instability, loneliness, lower satisfaction, and worsened cognitive function.
Disturbances do not have to be huge, like working on the night shift, as even a simple activity during times of sleep or napping during the day can already disrupt your normal sleeping patterns. With modern artificial lighting and the popularity of gadgets, circadian rhythms are being disrupted. Unfortunately, this controls the body’s physiological, as well as behavioral body functions.
Your biological clock is found in the part of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus. It takes cues from sunlight or certain types of bright light, then it figures out approximately what time of the day it is. Once it does, it sends this information to the rest of the body.
Your body depends on this internal timekeeping system because it predicts any environmental changes and prepares the body to adapt to appropriate activities at any given time of the day. Once this rhythm is interrupted, there is a higher risk of diseases in the brain and the pancreas. However, this study has expanded the effects to mental health, with higher chances of anxiety and depression observed with those whose circadian rhythms are not normal.
In order to prevent having issues with your natural biological clock, it is important to take the necessary precautions. First of all, you should avoid risk factors like going on the night shift, traveling across time zones, and using artificial light, especially during night time. However, there are some factors like age and specific medical conditions that are not as easy to avoid.
This means, in order to protect yourself from issues with your circadian rhythm, you just need to take the right steps and frequently visit a Houston therapist. Drinking anything that has caffeine is a bad idea, as well as staring at your phone before bedtime or during the night. The light emanating from these screens mimic natural light and therefore, keep you awake even if you do not want to. In fact, it is good to put down your device at 10 PM, or some time before you go to sleep. This way, you are sure your body will not have any issues with falling asleep.
Beyond this, your activities during the day matter, especially during the winter months. Going out during the day is vital in getting you some sunlight, but make sure you reduce your activity during the night. Slowly, your body slows down until you fall into deep sleep. This can lessen your risk of developing any mental health issues.
If unfortunately, fixing your circadian rhythm is not enough to reduce your symptoms of mental disease, then it is time to talk to a psychiatrist. An expert can help you deal with your anxiety and depression, especially in patients who seem to have both conditions.