An Early Bedtime Could Prevent Mental Illness, Study Finds

When life gets hectic and stressful, our daily routines can be the first thing to fall by the wayside — early bedtimes become late nights and instead of sitting down for healthy home-cooked meals we may find ourselves grazing on high-calorie, sugar-laden snacks.

Daily routines around eating and sleeping may be more important than we realize in maintaining manageable stress levels and good mental health.

According to a new study from Canadian and French psychologists, regular mealtimes and an early bedtime could ward off mental illness. The researchers propose that this has to do with the way that our body’s natural cycles affect certain chemicals in the brain.

Our daily rhythms of sleep and waking are governed by the body’s internal “circadian clock,” a 24-hour timer that dictates patterns of rest and activity. Daily activity is also influenced by something known as ultradian rhythms, which follow four-hour cycles and are repeated throughout the 24-hour circadian day. These rhythms, which are superimposed over the circadian rhythm, are linked with functions like bodily temperature, feeding, serum hormones and physical movement. Ultradian rhythms may be the reason why humans tend to each three meals daily, spread relatively evenly throughout the day, —> Read More Here


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