It’s bound to happen one night, when you can’t seem to fall asleep. The next day is going to be awful as you try to stay awake and be productive. But how can you maintain a regular sleep-wake cycle?
A new study found out that the best way to maintain a healthy brain is to have a daily routine. Moreover, it will help you get a good night’s sleep! You will also decrease the risk of developing depression or bipolar disorder.
Circadian Disruption – Increasing the Risk of Developing Depression and Bipolar Disorders
The study was published in The Lancet Psychiatry. It found that the irregular sleep-wake cycle – known as “circadian disruption,” was “reliably associated with various adverse mental health and wellbeing [sic] outcomes, including major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder.”
Circadian disruption is also linked to “increased susceptibility to mood disorders,” according to the researchers.
The lead author of the study, Dr. Daniel Smith, who is a professor of psychiatry at the University of Glasgow, stated in an interview that:
“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.”
He also added that mental health also has a great benefit from a regular daily routine. We’re talking about the one with being active in the daylight and sleeping at night. We know, it’s bad news for the night owls!
Smith said that he and his team found that the results were consistent, even when they considered different factors like “age, sex, lifestyle, education, and body mass index.”
In their study, researchers studied data of over 91,000 U.K. residents between 37 – 73 years old that had their data in the U.K. Biobank general population cohort.
The next step was to have a group of people measure their daily activity levels with a device on their wrist. Researchers also adjusted the final results for various factors. They took into consideration ethnicity, smoking status, alcohol intake, education and even a “binary measure of childhood trauma.”
Artificial Light Disrupts The Sleeping Pattern
The study found results that “have significant public health consequences, particularly for those who live in urban areas, where circadian rhythms are often disrupted due to artificial light.”
Smith mentions we can change the disruption of our circadian rhythms if we live in the city by avoiding using phones late at night. We should try to go to bed and wake up at the same hours every day. He also added that it is equally important to get some “sunshine and daylight in the morning and doing activity in the morning or midday so you can actually sleep properly.”
The first step in self-care is to have a proper sleep. If that involves a daily routine, we should all start planning it wisely!
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.