Every human has their own circadian rhythm, or internal body clock that regulates every biological process in the body. This includes eating, sleeping and even the blood pressure. The internal body clock also determines each person’s chronotype, which means how long you sleep in 24 hours. There are two main categories here: the night owls and the early birds. However, it’s also crucial to know that the circadian rhythm cannot be changed, meaning that if you like to stay up late, you’ll probably do that for all your life.
This also means that if you disrupt your internal body clock, things can go really bad quickly. The result might be a feeling of grogginess and thinking that you are not productive. In the long run, this might increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Now, a new study, which the journal The Lancet Psychiatry recently published, claims that disrupting your body clock can also increase your risk of developing depression, bipolar disorder and many other mental health issues. So, in order to reach this result, the researchers from the University of Glasgow recruited 91,105 people from the United Kingdom. They asked them to wear activity monitors for a week to see how disrupted their body clocks were.
A disrupted body clock is bad news for your mental health
They realized that people that had drastically disrupted their body clocks were between 6% and 10% more likely to have been diagnosed with a mental health issue. These disruptions can also cause mood swings, less happiness, loneliness, and higher neuroticism.
According to lead author Laura Lyall, this is the largest study of its kind. However, even if these results are impressive, the research does not prove that disrupting your body clock causes mental illness. So, the next step would be to go even deeper into this topic and establish a clear connection between the two.
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