Circadian Rhythm disorders are problems with the body’s internal clock, affecting how long we sleep. Various factors, including environmental factors, changes in routine, and medications can disrupt this natural cycle, making it difficult to function properly. Sleep disorders are associated with poor mental and physical health.
A lack of sleep may be one of the causes of mood disorders, particularly depression. The circadian rhythm controls several neural systems, including those involved with emotion. Therefore, people suffering from depression may experience circadian rhythm disruption. They may also experience excessive daytime sleepiness, or hypersomnia. This condition can cause a person to fall asleep at any time, and in any situation.
Researchers from the University of California, Irvine found a link between circadian rhythm disruption and psychiatric disorders. This association includes an abnormality in proinflammatory cytokines, which are inflammatory mediators. These cytokines affect brain function, including mood and cognitive function. They have also been linked to neurodevelopment and aging-related mental disorders.
Patients with Circadian Rhythm disruptions often experience insomnia and difficulty falling asleep. Often, a sleep disorder is hard to diagnose and treatment can be difficult. The symptoms can vary widely, and the diagnosis usually requires a consultation with a sleep specialist. The specialist will review your medical history and ask you to keep a sleep diary for a week or two. In addition, they will rule out other sleep disorders. Narcolepsy, for example, can mimic the symptoms of delayed sleep phase disorder.
A recent study suggests that circadian rhythm disruption is associated with mental health disorders, and it may also play a role in predicting the onset and relapse of a mental disorder. This disruption is not limited to mood disorders; it affects blood pressure, temperature, hormone secretion, and neurotransmitter signalling.
While treatment options vary, some patients may find their circadian rhythm disorder improves by following good sleep hygiene and a consistent sleep-wake schedule. Some patients may even benefit from taking melatonin supplements, which should be prescribed by a doctor. A combination of treatments is usually needed to correct circadian rhythm disruptions and improve quality of life.
Some patients with Circadian Rhythm disruptions may also experience behavioral or cognitive problems. They may have difficulty concentrating and may make mistakes at work. Additionally, they may develop ulcers. Affected individuals may also turn to drugs and alcohol for self-medication. Some patients may also find it difficult to sleep, which may lead to depression and anxiety.
Circadian Rhythms are important for human health. Normally, people have a “forbidden zone” – a period in their daytime when they should be asleep. However, if the clock is disrupted, they are unable to sleep.