Research from Russell Foster, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Oxford, shows that people suffering from schizophrenia had completely erratic sleep schedules whether they have jobs or take medication. This could mean that a defect in the neurotransmitters in the brain related to mental illness may also affect the sleep of an individual.
This information gives proof to the idea that sleep may be used as an effective therapy for mental illness. It also raises the question of whether a mental illness is the main result of disturbed sleep or they are simply related. Another researcher at Oxford has found that by significantly improving the sleep of his patients, their paranoia is reduced by up to 50%. This suggests that stabilizing sleep could have a direct impact on mental illness.
Although it is not a cure for mental illness, establishing a good sleep pattern may improve the quality of life of the patient and may perhaps even have an improvement on the illness itself. Where a patient lives may also be a factor, due to the amount of sunlight they are exposed to and depending on how long.