Irregular Sleep Schedules Linked to Bad Moods & Depression
Data collected on Fitbits and Smartphones worn by 1st year medical interns has shown that an irregular sleep/wake schedule could have an increased risk of altered mood and depression if the behavior is persistent.
Staying up late and getting fewer hours of sleep overall are contributing factors to this new study. I think we have all had the experience of losing sleep for one reason or another, and I can tell you from my experience you can’t make it up. Several days of late-night studies, or a couple double shifts a few times a month and you’re on your way to sleep patterns that could adversely affect your health. Families with young children are well aware of the effects of sleep deprivation as are night shift workers. I know I am talking to some of you seniors also, who think you can stay up till 1am several nights a week and sleep until 9 or 10am, just because you’re retired doesn’t mean that sleep isn’t important.
Did you know that during the night your brain actually shrinks so that a fluid known as glymph can come in and clean all the trash and cellular waste out of the brain? When that sleep is disrupted or shortened the cleaning process is less than complete and that can result in brain fog, neuroinflammation, and diminished cognition or ability to think clearly. The recommended amount of sleep is between 7 and 8 hours for adults and for younger children between 8-10 hours. This study from the University of Missouri Medical School found that those interns with consistent schedules and adequate rest scored better on mood scales and had a decreased risk of depression.
This past year has been difficult with respect to keeping to a schedule when there is no schedule. School has been from home, work has been from home, and social activities have been canceled, leaving us to binge watch TV and endless hours of gaming, and all in our pajamas! There has been an incredible increase in depression and anxiety among our young people this past year, and perhaps there is something we can do about it without prescription drugs and psychotherapy. We can start by creating an age-appropriate established sleep/wake pattern, at least 5 days a week.
Tips for a healthy sleep:
- Eat dinner at least 2-3 hours prior to bedtime
- Turn off your cell phones and pads at least an hour before bed
- Take a warm shower if you have a difficult time with sleep onset
- Drink a cup of chamomile, lemon grass, or lemon balm tea an hour before bed to help with calming
- Listen to a relaxing podcast or music before bedtime
- Turn off wifi if you have EMF sensitivity, or at least place your phone 6ft from your bed.
Sleep is sacred as it holds the potential of dreams and allows for the restoration of our most cherished possession, our health. If you are having difficulties with sleep onset or maintenance give us a call and let’s discuss what can be done to help.
Contact me today!
Cascade Chiropractic & Nutrition
2371 Iron Point Rd #130
Folsom, CA 95682