Much like a clock on the wall, our cells have their own 24-hour timeline. When they’re in sync, our body clock may act as a protective barrier against mental and physical illnesses.
But throw in some jet lag, a night shift or a bout of insomnia, and suddenly the clock’s hands are spinning out of sync — potentially leaving us more vulnerable to viral infections and depression, scientists say.
Richard Friedman, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College, recently recalled a U.S. patient who suffered from manic depression. The man became depressed after returning from a trip to Europe, but seemed to snap out of it after a fun trip out West.