October 27, 2016 • Volume 9, Issue 48 • Subscribe to Hope & Harmony Headlines
Are you a morning person or a night owl? Your answer provides a clue to your individual circadian rhythm--natural daily patterns like when we tend to fall asleep and wake up, when we feel alert, and what times during the day we get hungry.
Those patterns are so innate that researchers have discovered we’re more likely to self-sabotage at our normal periods of peak energy. (More on that below.)
Circadian rhythms are governed by a pervasive and immensely complicated system known as your biological clock. At the cellular level, clock genes called peripheral oscillators run all kinds of biological processes. A central “master clock” in the brain provides overall coordination in response to light signals from the eye.
People with bipolar tend to be more vulnerable to body clock disruptions from lack of sleep, seasonal changes in light, and jet lag—typical triggers for mood shifts.
Change in sleep is also a classic symptom in mood shifts, such as sleeping more than usual during a depression or hardly at all when manic.
With patience and discipline it’s possible to adjust your slumber schedule and keep it in tune. For example, getting plenty of aerobic exercise helped Wendy M. return to a more normal sleep mode.
To get to work on time, “night owl” Cass M. sets herself a firm 10 p.m. bedtime and shuts down her cellphone and tablet beforehand. “I used to think [they] helped me fall asleep, but now I know the light can keep you more stimulated,” she explains.
New research: Circadian rhythm and self-sabotage
In the study mentioned above, Indiana University researchers started by identifying morning people and night people in a group of more than 200 participants. They also assessed how likely individuals were to “self-handicap”—create circumstances that hinder the ability to carry out a stressful task.
Participants then took an intelligence test at either 8 a.m. or 8 p.m. The results: People who scored higher in terms of risk for self-sabotage reported greater stress levels at their normal hour of “peak capacity.” However, there was no correlation at the off-peak hour.
Lead author Julie Eyink noted that the solution is not to take on stressful tasks at times when your energy is naturally lower, but rather to acquire tools to address self-sabotaging. Read more >>
One of the symptoms of bipolar is irritability. However, how can you tell the difference between irritability due to life or irritability caused by bipolar? Watch Gabe’s video blog >>
via bpHope – bp Magazine Community