What Your Weird Sleep Habits Are Doing To Your Mental Health

Jet lag got you feeling down? You’re not alone. An hour here and there can add up.

Did you know…a lack of sleep can be linked to depression and leave us more susceptible to viral infections?

In an op-ed for the New York Times, Richard Friedman – a New York based psychiatrist wrote about the importance of the circadian rhythm. Sleeping pills are a quick fix and don’t solve the problem. Instead the author suggests taking the natural aide melatonin or turning to chronotherapy – which is being exposed to bright light earlier in the day with the hopes of feeling sleepy earlier in the night. Dr. Friedman pointed to a 2009 study of depressed patients which found those who underwent chronotherapy got better quicker than with antidepressant medication alone. So why isn’t chronotherapy used more widely?

The author points to a lack of financial incentive for investing in this treatment because you can’t exactly patent the sun.

So the next time you book a vacation overseas allow yourself an extra day upon arrival to get back to your natural 24-hour cycle! You don’t want to come back to the office depressed – because the guy who worked a double to cover for you wouldn’t be happy either.

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