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Your Mood Is Affected By Your Sleep Cycle: Here’s Why

Your Mood Is Affected By Your Sleep Cycle: Here’s Why

January 22, 2021
There is a reason why people all across the world stay awake during the day and sleep at night. Circadian rhythm is our body’s internal clock that controls our sleep-wake cycle. It’s affected our first exposure to light every morning and just like old time clocks, the circadian rhythm needs to be reset everyday.

How does our circadian rhythm work?

The circadian rhythms of our bodies are controlled by a number of genes. Fluctuations in wakefulness, temperature of body, hunger, digestion and metabolism are some of the important functions our circadian rhythm is responsible for. Long term memories are formed while we sleep and circadian rhythm controls consolidation of these memories. Healing of our body and timing of hormone secretion are also done by the circadian rhythm.Though usually the sleep phase occurs at night, there is a range of time it can occur for some people. For example, some people are internally programmed to sleep from evening to morning and others wake up late and sleep late. Apart from controlling sleep timing, a person’s circadian rhythm can affect their emotional responses such as assertiveness, rationalization and their tendency to suffer from psychological disorders.

Impact of circadian rhythm on our mood

Mood disorders such as bipolar disorders, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and depression are often caused by a person’s inability to sleep or function properly owing to negative effects of an irregular circadian rhythm.

A study done recently suggests that people who tend to stay awake at night are more inclined towards psychological disturbances. The researchers discovered that different people with different circadian types have varied coping methods to emotional stressors and the ones pertaining to people who sleep-wake early resulted in mentally healthier individuals with lesser psychological issues. The study focuses on the impact of circadian rhythm on mental health.

Depression and it’s relation to circadian rhythm

In studies conducted amongst people with mood problems owing to circadian rhythm, most of the evidence came from shift workers whose sleep patterns are out of sync with their individual circadian rhythms. There are a number of studies that link depression with night shift workers. One of these studies found that people who work during the night are 40% more likely to develop depression as compared to people who work during the day. As a converse rule, disturbances in circadian rhythm are common in people with depression, who often have changes in their sleep patterns, rhythms of body temperature and hormone rhythms.

Symptoms of depression have their own circadian rhythm where a lot of people experience a severity of symptoms in the morning. This severity correlates with the level of circadian rhythm misalignment with sleep cycles.

Wake therapy, social and interpersonal rhythm therapy and bright light therapy are some of the successful treatments of depression that directly affect our circadian rhythms.

Anxiety and it’s relation to circadian rhythm

Anxiety may be provoked by misalignment of the circadian rhythm. Shift work results in distress and affects the ability to mentally function properly. It has been observed that nurses who did shift work have increased anxiety scores in questionnaires. Frequent travellers who go through jet lag also show elevated anxiety and depression scores. While travelling, these people face a change in an external environment that is no longer synced with their internal clock, leading to such results.

Steps you can take to alter your circadian type

As circadian type is a genetic feature, you cannot alter it. However, some natural changes occur during our lifespan. For example we tend to sleep late during our teenage years and advance earlier as age progresses.

Generally, matching your circadian rhythm to your sleep-wake cycle is the best way to improve your mood and enjoy a good night’s sleep. When you are exposed to sunlight in the morning, this clock is synchronized. Exposure to bright lights, screens, and artificial lights before bedtime can disrupt our circadian rhythm so it’s best to avoid those. They also lead to worsening of your mood.

A full night’s sleep i.e 7-9 hours of rest time helps get your circadian rhythm back in order. When you wake up at the same time everyday, your sleep onset becomes regular as well and your circadian rhythm is aligned with your sleep-wake cycle.

If none of these steps work out for you, superfood may be the key. Supplements like Dayly Dream help adjust your circadian rhythm while promoting a deep sound sleep. By doing so, it also reduces stress, anxiety and improves daytime alertness. Dayly Dream is a unique combo of sleep hormone melatonin and a potent serenity blend that is rich in L-Theanine, magnesium, valerian extracts, Ashwagandha and chamomile extracts. All of these ingredients are responsible for relaxing your mind and calming your senses.

So the next time you plan your bedtime routine, set your alarm to wake up at the same time everyday and make sure you get plenty of light as you wake up early in the morning.

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