Why Women Should Wake Up Early: Study Finds Early Birds Are Less Prone To Depression

Ladies, listen up! Waking up early may make one less likely to develop depression, so it might be high time to make the necessary changes in lifestyle.

A study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research is touted as the most detailed study when it comes to chronotype and its connection with depression, and its findings may explain how the two is correlated. The study focused on more than 32,000 middle- to older-aged female nurses.

These participants had no depression at the start of the study. Among them, 37 percent said they were early risers, 53 percent were intermediate, while the remaining 10 percent are night owls or those who sleep late at night.

These women were followed for four years in order to assess their sleeping patterns. Take note that the study has taken into consideration the risk factors, such as night shift jobs, weight, and physical activities. The study found that the night owls tend to be less likely married and are more likely to be smokers.

It turned out that the preference of when to sleep and rise affects the chances of developing depression. At the end of the years-long study, 2,581 of the participants developed depression.

The study argues that even with the risk factors, those who sleep late are more likely to get depressed than those who wake up early. Those participants who dubbed themselves as early risers, meanwhile, had 12 to 27 percent chance of less likely developing depression than the intermediate category. The night owls, meanwhile, had 6 percent higher risk than the intermediate.

Small Effect

"Our results show a modest link between chronotype and depression risk. This could be related to the overlap in genetic pathways associated with chronotype and mood," Celine Vetter, lead author of the research, said.

Furthermore, the study said that even with environmental factors such as light, there is still a correlation between chronotype and depression. However, Vetter is making it clear that once a person is a night owl, it doesn't necessarily mean that that person has a looming depression to face. She said that there are many factors to look at and that although chronotype is an important factor to understand in depression, it still had a small effect.

On what the night persons can do, Vetter advised sleeping earlier than usual because it has lots of advantages.

"Early to bed, early to rise," they say, which meant one can get up earlier to do more things that will be beneficial to overall health, such as spending time outdoors or just enjoying the morning breeze.

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