Maintaining a daily rhythm is important for mental health, study suggests

Story highlights

  • People with consistent sleep-wake cycles were less likely to develop major depression and bipolar disorder
  • Those with more disruptions to their circadian rhythms had reduced cognitive functioning in the new study

(CNN)Sticking to a normal daily rhythm -- being active during the day and sleeping at night -- can have more benefits than you might expect.

A new study found that it is linked to improvements in mood and cognitive functioning as well as a decreased likelihood of developing major depression and bipolar disorder.
The study, published Tuesday in the journal The Lancet Psychiatry, looked at disruptions in the circadian rhythms -- or daily sleep-wake cycles -- of over 91,000 adults in the United Kingdom. It measured these disruptions using a device called an accelerometer that is worn on the wrist and measures one's daily activity levels. The participants were taken from the UK Biobank, a large cohort of over half a million UK adults ages 37 to 73.
    The researchers found that individuals with more circadian rhythm disruptions -- defined as