Getting up early, a good way to reduce the risk of depression

Waking up an hour earlier than usual can reduce the risk of depression by 23%, according to a large university study.

The world belongs to those who get up early. This saying would also apply for mental health. Waking up an hour earlier could reduce the risk of depression by 23%, according to a study conducted by the University of Colorado at Boulder and the Broad Institute and published on the JAMA Psychiatry website.

Sleep and mood are said to have a strong connection. Already in 2018, a study by Dr. Vetter showed that “early risers” were up to 27% less likely to develop depression within four years. For this new study, the researchers used the results of 840,000 people.

Sleep is in our genes

Would there naturally be people predisposed to get up early and others to get up late? Yes, say the researchers. Our ability to wake up early (or late) would depend in part on our genes.

For this new study, the scientists therefore looked at the evaluation of the genetic data of 840,000 people. Of these, 85,000 wore sleep trackers for 7 days and 250,000 had completed questionnaires about their sleep preferences. On average, people go to bed at 11 p.m., waking up at 6 a.m., and mid-sleep at 3 a.m.

The researchers then linked these first results with another sample comprising genetic information, medical records, investigations into diagnoses of major depressive disorders, all anonymously. They thus came to the conclusion that people genetically predisposed to be “early risers” had a lower risk of depression.

Better go to bed early

Every hour gained from the midpoint of sleep (the middle of sleep) would reduce the risk of developing depression by 23%. If a person, who normally goes to bed at 1 a.m., goes to bed at midnight and sleeps the same amount of time, they could reduce their risk by 23%; if they go to bed at 11pm, they could reduce it by about 40%. No need to sleep more then.

Researchers therefore encourage going to bed “early” and give some tips for a good night’s rest. “Keep your days bright and nights dark. Have your morning coffee on the porch. Walk or cycle to work if you can, and turn off your electronics at night.”


early good reduce risk depression

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