We live in a world where so many of us are walking around sleep deprived. In his article on Independent, Russell Foster, Professor of Circadian Neuroscience at the University of Oxford, discusses sleep disturbances, circadian rhythms, mental illness and the link between them. Click here to read the full article.
Learning the rhythm of sleep
Circadian rhythm is the body’s built in 24 hour clock that centers around its physiological processes, ensuring that they are done in the correct order without any disruption allowing our cells to function optimally. Many of these processes take place while we are sleeping, which is why a sleep disturbance of any kind can knock our circadian rhythm out of kilter, leaving us feeling physically, emotionally or mentally unwell.
Keeping the cycle intact
Sleep disturbances are prevalent among mental illness sufferers, but its effects on mental illness itself have gone largely unnoticed. The professor’s team has found results linking the pathways of sleep disturbances and mental illness in the brain, which can play an essential role in the future for the early diagnosis of a mental illness based on the disruption of circadian rhythms and sleep.
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