Going to bed one hour earlier 'could significantly cut depression risk'

·1-min read

Going to bed one hour earlier could significantly cut a person's risk of depression, a new study has found.

Researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder, the Broad Institute of MIT, and Harvard discovered that chronotype, which is a person's propensity to sleep at a certain time, influences the risk of depression.

Going to bed just one hour earlier could reduce a person's risk of major depression by 23 per cent.

The researchers assessed data from more than 850,000 individuals, including 85,000 who had worn sleep trackers for seven days and 250,000 who had filled out sleep questionnaires.

They also compared the data with genetic information, as well as medical and prescription records, and surveys about diagnoses of major depressive disorder.

Researchers found that those with genetic variants that predispose them to get up early in the morning have a much lower risk of depression.

The experts also suggested that those at risk of depression should be going to bed earlier.

If someone who normally goes to bed at 1am goes to bed at midnight instead and sleeps until 6am, they could cut their risk by 23 per cent.

But, if they go to bed at 11pm, they could cut the risk by about 40 per cent.

It's unclear from the study whether those who are already early risers could benefit from getting up even earlier.

And senior author Celine Vetter gave some helpful advice for those who want to go to bed earlier.

"Keep your days bright and your nights dark. Have your morning coffee on the porch. Walk or ride your bike to work if you can, and dim those electronics in the evening," she shared.

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