Can mental illness be prevented?
Might living a structured life with regularly established meal times and early bedtimes lead to a better life and perhaps even prevent the onset of mental illness? That's what's suggested in a study led by Kai-Florian Storch, PhD, of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and McGill University, which has been published in the online journal eLife.
What I do know is that autistic people on all levels of the autistic spectrum do much better in a structured environment. I believe all humans require some structure in our life's. Anarchy is not productive.
Our daily sleep-wake cycle is governed by an internal 24-hour timer, the circadian clock. However, there is evidence that daily activity is also influenced by rhythms much shorter than 24 hours, which are known as ultradian rhythms and follow a four-hour cycle. Most prominently observed in infants before they are able to sleep through the night, ultradian rhythms may explain why, on average, we eat three meals a day that are relatively evenly spaced across our daily wake period.
These four-hour ultradian rhythms are activated dopamine, a key chemical substance in the brain. When dopamine levels are out of kilter -- as is suggested to be the case with people suffering from bipolar disease and schizophrenia -- the four-hour rhythms can stretch as long as 48 hours.
A novel hypothesis
Douglas Mental Health University Institute.
1732 day(s) ago