Could waking up earlier help combat depression?

Waking up early has never really been my forte. I will get up early when necessary, but I will admit that it is a struggle, and I most definitely am not a morning person. My bed seems to hold this magical power which makes it very difficult to leave it when I wake up in the morning, and let’s just say I hit the snooze button more often than I should.

But, as it turns out, waking up a bit earlier than we normally do could be a means to alleviate the symptoms of depression, says an article from The Good News Network. Take a look.

“Waking up just one hour earlier could reduce a person’s risk of major depression by 23%, suggests a sweeping new genetic study.

“The study of 840,000 people, by researchers at University of Colorado Boulder and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, represents some of the strongest evidence yet that chronotype—a person’s propensity to sleep at a certain time—influences depression risk.

“It’s also among the first studies to quantify just how much, or little, change is required to influence mental health.

“As people emerge, post-pandemic, from working and attending school remotely—a trend that has led many to shift to a later sleep schedule—the findings could have important implications.

“The researchers assessed deidentified genetic data on these variants from up to 850,000 individuals, including data from 85,000 who had worn wearable sleep trackers for 7 days and 250,000 who had filled out sleep-preference questionnaires. This gave them a more granular picture, down to the hour, of how variants in genes influence when we sleep and wake up—the results of which have just been published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

“Using novel statistical techniques, they asked: Do those with genetic variants which predispose them to be early risers also have lower risk of depression?

“The answer is a firm yes,” the article says.

So, while it may seem that waking up early isn’t the greatest thing to do (speaking from experience), it can prove to be incredibly beneficial.

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