Sleep issues and mental health often go hand-in-hand. When we heard that tomorrow is World Mental Health Day, we knew we wanted to join in on the conversation about this important topic and the connection to our circadian rhythm. For many, it’s a chicken or egg discussion. Does sleep deprivation cause mental health issues or do mental health issues cause sleep deprivation? Often the answer is yes. That’s how connected the two are to our wellbeing. But, it’s really our circadian rhythm health that rules how we function, how well we sleep and how our long-term health — mentally and physically — is affected. Learn how sleep affects your mental health below.
Sleep isn’t all to blame
‘Get a good night’s sleep’ is often a recommendation we get when we’re feeling out of whack. While it’s very good advice, it’s not the only thing we should adjust. Sticking to a regular routine or paying attention to our own unique circadian rhythm is even more critical and leads to the deep, restorative sleep we need. Being active during the day and inactive at night is critical for our mental health. In May of 2018, researchers in the United Kingdom measured and studied circadian rhythm disruptions (increased night activity, decreased day activity or both) in over 91,000 adults. What they found was incredible. Turns out those of us with more circadian rhythm disruptions are more likely to suffer from bipolar disorder, depression, mood instability, loneliness and slower reaction times, among others.
Nobel-prize-worthy circadian rhythm research
It was just last year in 2017 when three scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine because of their research of circadian regulation and its central importance to human health. What does that mean exactly? An excerpt from the Nobel Assembly press release explains it: “For many years we have known that living organisms, including humans, have an internal, biological clock that helps them anticipate and adapt to the regular rhythm of the day. But how does this clock actually work? Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young were able to peek inside our biological clock and elucidate its inner workings. Their discoveries explain how plants, animals and humans adapt their biological rhythm so that it is synchronized with the Earth’s revolutions. “With exquisite precision, our inner clock adapts our physiology to the dramatically different phases of the day. The clock regulates critical functions such as behavior, hormone levels, sleep, body temperature and metabolism. Our wellbeing is affected when there is a temporary mismatch between our external environment and this internal biological clock, for example when we travel across several time zones and experience “jet lag.” This Nobel-prize-worthy research was groundbreaking and proves our internal clocks really do rule how we react, sleep, feel — basically, how we function overall.
What do we do if our clock is misaligned?
Life happens. We’re not always diligent about getting to bed on time and there are times when we just want to “sleep in” on the weekends. But our bodies get confused and each time we fall out of our routine, it gets harder and harder to get back on track which can lead to sleep disorders. So, the best advice? Listen to your body. When you feel yourself getting sleepy at night, don’t fight it. That’s when your clock is winding down and that’s likely the time you need to get into bed each and every night. It also works in the morning. If you get up on workdays at 6:00 a.m., your internal clock will likely start to wake you up at the same time on Saturday. While it’s tempting to just go back to sleep, try getting up as close to your weekday time as possible.
The right nutrients also help
Eating well and at the right times is critically important but so is feeding your body at night. At night, during sleep, your body is hungry for nutrients to perform the restorative processes necessary to prepare you for the next day. If these nutrients aren’t available, in the right amounts and at the right time, sleep disruptions start to occur and significantly affect your overall sleep health. Taking a natural daily supplement like RestoreZ will help feed your body what it needs and promote better sleep. With help from RestoreZ, it’s possible to fall asleep, stay asleep and get quality deep sleep that enables your body to naturally re-sync and restore all of your bodily functions. In return, a well-running circadian rhythm can help regulate your body temperature, blood pressure, blood sugar, immunity, heart function and fat-burning capabilities, just to name a few. Find the right RestoreZ to help you achieve that deep, restorative sleep that is critical to our wellbeing.