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Diurnal Sleep Preference Associated With Depression

by Derrick Smith

What time do you go to bed? For modern people, going to bed one hour early at night and getting up one hour earlier in the morning can reduce the risk of depression by 23%.

(Photo via Unsplash.com)

Boulder, CO (Merxwire) – According to research published in JAMA Psychiatry, if a person usually goes to bed at 1 am changes to going to bed at 12 midnight, and maintains the same sleep time, the risk of depression can be reduced by 23%. If he goes to bed at 11 pm, he can reduce the risk by about 40%.

This research was conducted jointly by the University of Colorado Boulder, the Broad Institute of MIT, and Harvard. The research included 850,000 participants, of which 85,000 were wearing sleep trackers, and 250,000 filled out surveys about their sleep habits to enable the research team to obtain information.

Celine Vetter, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder, is the study’s senior author. “Our analysis used data from depressed and non-depressed individuals, as this is used to calculate risk,” Vetter explains.

“Our findings are not within depressed individuals because that would require us to assess the relationship between sleep timing and symptom severity, which we did not do.”

Since there are more than 300 genetic variants that affect a person’s sleep type, in this research, the team obtained all relevant information and looked for connections between different factors. The team found that people with the early get-up gene have a lower risk of depression.

The participants’ genetic data was anonymously pulled from either the UK Biobank or the DNA testing company 23andMe.

For people who are born to get up early, if they go to bed earlier, will they benefit more? No one currently doesn’t know. But for those in the middle range or night range, falling asleep early may be helpful.

Other studies have shown that early risers receive more light during the day, which can lead to a series of hormonal effects that affect mood. Therefore, the body needs to understand the difference between day and night, and people can use sleep to adjust to these.

Vetter offers this advice: “Keep your days bright and your nights dark,” she says. “Have your morning coffee on the porch. Walk or ride your bike to work if you can, and dim those electronics in the evening.”

More information please visit: Genetically Proxied Diurnal Preference, Sleep Timing, and Risk of Major Depressive Disorder

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