Food for thought about how to live healthy!

Do you tweet when you’re happy? If you do, you might find a pattern of the time and date you tweet your good feelings.

According to an international study published by Cornell University found that Twitter users are generally happier in the morning, around midnight and on the weekends. People were also happier when the Sun was shining than on a cloudy day. The study tracked half a billion tweets from 2 million users from 84 different countries for over 2 years.

Sounds pretty logical: people wake up ready to take on the day and their mood deteriorates as their day goes on. But actually, that’s not necessarily the case. The same mood pattern was found on weekends when people didn’t go to the office and the pattern included people from all over the globe.

Researchers have found that the daily happenings that occur in people lives don’t count for their mood swings. Rather, it is the natural circadian rhythms determining our lows and highs.

The circadian rhythm is more widely known as the internal clock. It controls our sleep patterns, appetite, hormonal changes. It includes a variety of biochemical, psychological and behavioral processes. Plants, animals, even fungus all have circadian rhythms.

Although everyone has an internal circadian rhythm, it can be affected by environmental factors, most notably light. The new research shows that daylight can have a bigger impact on people’s happiness than once thought.

Melatonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of drowsiness and lethargy, is secreted during the late night hours and secretion stops around 7 a.m. which can account for why people feel happier in the mornings. If you like working out in the late afternoon to early evenings, it might be because you have greatest cardiovascular efficiency and muscle strength around 5 p.m.

Circadian rhythms are a fairly new concept in the field of psychology so there’s not much known about them. There are medications that help adjust certain disorders, like insomnia, that can disrupt circadian rhythms.

The new study also shows how social media is changing the face of research. Sites like Facebook and Twitter make it possible to gather sample sizes of millions of people rather than a few thousand.

One of the biggest things to help balance your circadian rhythm is to always get a good night’s sleep. At least 6 hours of sleep is needed to have a healthy amount of energy needed to get through the day. 8 hours is of course recommended, but there are talks of raising that number to 9 or 10 hours.

As for Twitter, you can find this blog on Twitter @AnApple_a_Day

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