Our mental health is so precious. And it’s a wonderful thing that in recent years, the idea that it’s a taboo subject has been repeatedly challenged. More and more of us feel comfortable saying, ‘I hurt’ in reference to things other than limbs and fibres and tissues. In reference, in fact, to our emotions. Now, a recent study points towards a possible cause of mood disorder. Disruption to our daily lives could be behind many cases of depressive feelings such as loneliness or just a general sense that our happiness is diminished in some way. Our circadian rhythms, the rhythms by which we experience each 24-hour cycle, our delicately balanced things. It doesn’t take much to knock them off course. The research hasn’t got to the bottom of the cause/effect aspect, so it’s not clear whether disruptions cause mood disorders or come about as a result of them or a mix of the two, but nevertheless, they shed some light on the situation. Of course, you may well look after your daily rhythms by ensuring you stay relaxed, using treatments such as gay massage to keep yourself calm no matter what crises you may (or may not) be undergoing.
Circadian disruption is more common in cities and by 2050, over 60 per cent of the world’s population will be urbanites. Disruption will be more and more common, so a public health issue on a grand scale could be brewing. The new research was published in health journal, Lancet Psychiatry, and was undertaken by Scottish researchers, working in tandem with colleagues in Ireland and Sweden. It’s the largest study of its type, drawing on data from 500,000 subjects, between the ages of 37 and 73. The study began in 2006, so it also draws on many years of observation. Nearly 100,000 of the participants were given a wrist-worn activity tracker. The teams noticed that those who were active during the day and then slept soundly at night did very well in terms of mental health. Those who were disrupted during sleep and less industrious during the day were, it may come as no surprise, less well off emotionally.
Aspects of mental health, such as neuroticism, feelings of isolation, poor reaction times, were all observed. Personal histories, such as trauma or bipolar disorder, were taken into account. The results were intriguing to say the least. Those more prone to circadian disruption were nine per cent more likely to experience intense loneliness, six per cent more likely to suffer depression and 11 per cent more likely to have bipolar disorder. And, the lower the figure for happiness, the poorer the reaction times.
Although results and findings are still being unpicked, the evidence suggests that it’s best to avoid disruptive activities after 10pm, whether that’s using your smartphone or getting up and fixing a drink. People checking their mobiles and looking at Facebook at midnight are less likely to be mentally healthy and happy. Getting out in the morning and getting fresh air is another pivotal activity that could be just as important as getting a good night’s sleep. If you’re already availing yourself of gay massage London, that’s one big step towards the maintenance of good circadian rhythmic health and, it now seems likely, good mental health, too.