Sleeping Just 1 Hour Earlier May Cut Depression Risk

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Sleeping Just 1 Hour Earlier May Cut Depression Risk

Sleeping Just 1 Hour Earlier May Cut Depression Risk

Staying up late and sleeping late into the day may feel great. However it could also increase your risk of depression. At least that’s what a new study published in JAMA Psychiatry has found.

Research was carried out by the University of Colorado Boulder and the Institute of MIT and Harvard. They looked at data from about 840,000 people. They used data from DNA testing company 23andMe and the UK Biobank database to look at participants’ genes and determine their chronotype. Whether their genes make them a natural early riser or someone whose body wants to stay up and wake up late.

The researchers also looked at some of the participants’ actual sleep habits. This includes 85,000 who had worn sleep trackers for seven days, and 250,000 who had completed questionnaires about their sleep preferences. They also looked at participants’ medical records and surveys to assess depression.

The study found that those whose genes made them more likely to be early risers also had a lower risk of depression. Also this is because early risers get more sunlight during the day, which can affect mood. Furthermore, the researchers found that moving sleep time one hour earlier may reduce the risk of depression by 23%. Even moving it just 30 minutes earlier resulted in a 12% lower risk of depression. Being a late riser in itself may also be depressing because it doesn’t fit with typical work times.

“It’s not clear if people who already sleep early could benefit from moving their sleep time even earlier.  But those who sleep on the later side may. To move your sleep time”, senior author Celine Vetter suggests getting a lot of light in the day, and none at night. “Have your morning coffee on the porch,” she said. “Walk or ride your bike to work if you can, and dim those electronics in the evening.”

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