Other Approaches to Biological Rhythm
Other approaches to Biological Rhythm are highly relevant. EEG sleep changes have been recognized as an objective measure of abnormality and also of tendency to respond to illness. The abnormalities are probably “trait” in many patients, and the Sleep EEG seems to respond in a predictable way to treatment. In the depression of Bipolar Disorder, the treatment of disordered sleep can actually alter the mood itself.
In some cases of mood disorder, a newer technique named chronotherapeutics (light and wake therapy) has been applied for adjuvant therapy. It also appears to have some potency as a treatment of ambulatory depression. And it is a very useful non-pharmacologic technique to prevent relapse – effective in over 60 % of patients. Interestingly, improved daytime alertness is a potent target in psychiatric illness as it appears to alter the overall course of illness – keeping the brain awake at the right time is fundamental to healthy sleep just as causing healthy sleep can enhance emotional health. Another method to alter biological rhythm is through neurobiofeedback. With this technique the send & receive organ is the same – we actually train or reward differential brain wave recruitment.