Our group was honored to host speakers over the last two months on topics of particular importance to the health and well being of persons with mood disorders.
On November 10, Dr. Rochelle Zozula, psychologist, spoke on Sleep Disorders. Dr. Zozula specializes in behavioral sleep, one of only three such specialists in New Jersey.
There is a high correlation between psychiatric disorders and sleep disorders—little wonder as sleep is essential to the proper functioning of the brain. For example, falling into a pattern of early awakenings may indicate an oncoming depressive cycle for those diagnosed with major depression. And a return to normal sleep patterns indicates remission.
Dr. Zozula says a brief mid-day nap, when the body tends to have a “post lunch dip” (which is not related to what you eat, but rather a natural decline in the core body temperature), is fine provided it lasts no more than 20 to 30 minutes. More than that and it may become disruptive to your sleep cycle. For example, if you suffer from chronic insomnia, the nap may be counter-productive to getting a full night’s sleep.
On October 13, Dr. Lisa Motavalli, cardiologist, spoke on Mood Disorders, the Metabolic Syndrome and Cardiovascular Diseases. It is well known that metabolic syndrome, a collection of risk factors including obesity, high triglycerides (a type of fat) and insulin resistance, is common among persons with mood disorders. Less well known is the association of mood disorders with cardiovascular disease, a disease that can lead to heart attacks. Thus it is especially important for persons with mood disorders to control their weight, eat healthfully and exercise regularly.