Depression Might Be Prevented by Waking up an Hour Earlier
According to a recent genetic study from the Journal of the American Medical Association, waking up one hour earlier decreases the chances of major depression by 23%. The research represents some of the most substantial evidence ever that chronotype (a person’s tendency to sleep at a particular time) can affect one’s risk of developing depression.
A study of 850,000 individuals showed that many genetic variants, including those in the “clock gene” PER2, can alter people’s chronotype. With genetics responsible for 12% – 42% of our sleep timing habits, researchers believe that people with genetic variants predisposing them to wake up early also have a lower risk of being depressed.
The research suggests that if a person goes to bed one hour earlier than usual and sleeps the same amount of time, they will lower their risk of despair by 23%. And if they go to bed two hours earlier, they could reduce it by around 40%. The unclear thing is whether a person who is already an early riser could benefit from getting up even earlier.
How can all this be explained? Based on some research, early risers get greater light exposure throughout the day, ending in a series of hormonal impacts, which may positively affect their mood.
Although this study’s conclusion points to a definite correlation between sleep timing and depression, more randomized research is needed. Until then, it’s recommended to spend some time outside each day, get some exercise, and avoid extended use of electronic devices at night.
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