As per a recent study, getting out of bed an hour earlier every day can reduce the risk of depression. An earlier start to the day is linked to a 23% decreased chance of getting a mood illness.
Waking Up Early Than Usual Lowers The Risk Of Depression
According to research author Iyas Daghlas, the research of more than 840,000 adults discovered a correlation between earlier sleep habits and a lower incidence of serious depressive illness.
Daghlas believes that changing sleep and waking periods earlier may be an intervention to minimize and maybe treat depression and that it should be studied further in clinical studies.
Daghlas, who is currently connected with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Broad Institute and Harvard University, is a recent Harvard Medical School graduate who studied the interactions between sleep, neurology, and heart health. He and his colleagues recently published their findings in JAMA Psychiatry.
To investigate a possible relation between sleep and depression risk, the researchers examined data generated by the DNA testing business 23andMe as well as data generated by U.K. Biobank, a British biological database.
Around 10% of the 840,000 persons in the data pool wore sleep trackers for a week, and approximately 250,000 filled out sleep behavior questionnaires.
In total, about one-third of those polled were classified as early risers, while slightly under one-tenth were classified as night owls. The average bedtime was 11 p.m., and the average wake-up time was 6 a.m. Most people’s sleeping habits lay somewhere between early risers and night owls.
This meant that the average sleep midpoint, or the time between waking up and going to bed, happened about 3 a.m.
An examination of the genetic histories of participants in the data pool revealed more than 340 differences in genes are known to alter a person’s propensity to either get up early or go to bed late.
According to the study, understanding how frequent specific gene variations are and how they may influence depression risk is crucial, because genetic predisposition influences between 12% and 42% of an individual’s waking and sleep preferences.
Finally, Daghlas and his colleagues discovered that night owls and individuals who wake later than early risers might be able to reduce their depression risk by 23% merely by changing their sleep midpoint to an hour earlier.
Furthermore, the conclusion maintained true as long as the total amount of sleep duration remained constant. Furthermore, the research showed that for every extra hour-long shift to an earlier waking time, depression risk decreased by 23%. However, it’s unclear if people who are already early risers may benefit from the same sleep strategy.
The researchers speculated that increased exposure to daylight light might have a role in enhancing mood, which might explain the relationship between waking time and sadness. It’s also possible just because of merely being awake when the majority of others are up against benefits, as rising earlier may mean more readily integrating into society’s norms.
Adam Krause, a recent graduate of the University of California, Berkeley Center for Human Sleep Science, is currently at Stanford University’s computational psychiatry, neuroimaging, and sleep lab in Palo Alto, Calif.
According to Krause, it is often assumed that modern living is more difficult for evening people due to a misalignment with job hours. Morning personalities are prone to be more active during the day and less active at night, but evening personalities are forced into this pattern owing to societal obligations, and this pattern is incongruent with their internal clock.
But, according to Krause, there isn’t much one can do to modify their chronotype. A slight change is feasible, but a severe evening type cannot conceivably become an extreme morning type simply adjusting their activities. Working against one’s own genetically established biological cycles would be a bad idea.
Dr. Victor Fornari, vice-chair of child and adolescent psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y., emphasized that this one research did not provide conclusive evidence that altering one’s chronotype directly reduces one’s risk of depression.
Although this extensive study examined sleep habits and discovered a considerably reduced prevalence of depression in early risers and at risk for depression, Fornari cautioned that no direct association was discovered.
Nonetheless, he acknowledged that the discovery warrants additional investigation to better understand the association and its potential relevance in depression prevention and treatment, particularly in individuals genetically predisposed to depression.