It’s not easy to wake up early if you sleep late at night. However, a new study finds that women who get up early in the morning are less likely to get depressed than those who wake up late.
The study, conducted by the scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, looked into over 32,000 women with an average age of 55. Researchers found out that those who are not morning persons are more susceptible to depression. The findings of this study were published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.
Researchers suggested waking up early to trim down the risk of developing this mental illness.
The 32,470 female nurses from the Nurses’ Health Study and were instructed to fill out health surveys every two years. They were asked to describe their chronotype, where 37 percent of the female nurses described themselves as early types, 53 percent were intermediate types, and 10 percent were evening types.
This study was the largest ever conducted that analyzed the effect of a woman's chronotype on depression risk.
A chronotype is a person’s preference on what time she wants to go to sleep and the time she wakes up. The scientists said that even the work schedules and the daylight exposure won’t be correlated, chronotype still affects depression risk.
According to researchers, women who are more exposed to daylight only have a 12 to 27 percent lower chance of falling into depression than the evening or intermediate ones. What’s more interesting is that those who consider themselves night owls are less likely to find their partners and might live alone.
Night owls tend to become smokers with inconsistent sleeping patterns – something that contributes to having depression
Lead study author and director of the university’s sleep lab Dr. Céline Vetter said that a woman’s chronotype affects depression risk, which is “not driven by environmental and lifestyle factors.
“When and how much light you get also influences chronotype, and light exposure also influences depression risk.”
Depression is a serious condition and is something that anyone can’t just ignore. It can affect anyone at any age in all walks of life. However, this can be treated by lifestyle changes, medication, and counseling.
"Body weight, physical activity, chronic disease, sleep duration, and night shift work" are some of the factors that can cause depression
Dr. Vetter added that anyone can be early risers, but one should consider getting enough sleep, “dimming the lights at night,” more time doing outdoor activities, working out, and more daylight exposure. These factors will help you reduce the risk of developing this mental health condition.
“Yes, chronotype is relevant when it comes to depression but it is a small effect. Being an early type seems beneficial, and you can influence how early you are.”
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