With the pandemic, our state of mind has been fluctuating. Watching deadly news that flashes on T.V., we all are gradually getting depressed about the whole situation. And the work from home thing is clearly not working.
Experts have been performing different experiments to find a solution for cutting down human depression, and their recent studies have revealed some measures one can take.
What does the study say?
Published on May 26, this new genetic study revealed that humans could avoid the risk of depression by 23% by only waking up earlier than their regular waking up time. The survey conducted by researchers from Harvard, Broad Institute of MIT, and the University of Colorado Boulder on 840,000 candidates shows heavy proof about the same research.
This research is one of the first studies that revealed that changing a bit of your sleep schedule could influence your mental health. This pandemic has changed many lives; surveys show that many people have taken a shift sleeping late at night.
What do experts say?
Senior author and assistant professor of integrative physiology at C.U. Boulder, Celine Vetter, says, ” Researchers have shown for some time that there is a connection between the time you sleep and your mood.” She further continued and shared her experience with clinicians who asked, ” How much earlier do humans need to shift their sleep to observe changes in their mood?”
She says that studies have found that shifting your sleep timing one hour earlier can show positive changes in your mood and helps in lowering the risk of major depression.
Studies conducted in past years revealed that night owls are seen to suffer from more depression than those who wake up early in the morning and do not depend on how long they sleep.
But, how to sleep when you already have a bad mood? This one question has given the researchers a tough time figuring out what exactly causes what in the body. Because the mood swings anyway disrupt the sleep schedule.
A long-term study published in 2018 in Vetter on 32,000 nurses revealed that the people who wake up early are likely to decrease their depression up to 27% in four years.
What does it mean to be an early riser? Is there a specific time to wake up that helps to cure our depression?
Scientists performed research on 850,000, where 250,000 of them filled a sleep-preference survey form, and the other 85,000 agreed to wear sleep trackers for seven days. This experiment helped the experts and provided them with a clearer picture of how genetic variations influence human sleep patterns.
The above survey had about a quarter of participants who self-identified themselves as morning larks, and 9% of them were night owls, and the rest were in the middle. Experts say the average sleep pattern was between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
With the help of the same research information, researchers played wisely and started a new experiment with a sample of genetic info and anonymized medical and prescription records to diagnose major depressive disorders. Sleeping and waking an hour early show significant changes in the mood also decrease the risk of major depression by 23%.
So, for example, if you go to bed around 1 a.m., start going to bed at midnight while sleeping for the same duration. So basically, sleep early and wake an hour early can cut your significant depression risk by 23% and if somebody you even go earlier to bed, let’s say around 11 p.m, you could even cut it by 40%.
Why does it help if we wake early morning?
Studies show that if you are exposed to more excellent light during the day, your hormones flow fluently, influencing your mood by making you happier.
However, experts still say that the research is still not complete as if you already are depressed, you might even feel hard to sleep early. That is why they conclude that the above statement is still left unanswered, yet changing your sleep cycle by sleeping and waking up early morning can still result in a happy mood.
Imagine all those extra hours you can give yourself in the morning before you set up your desk and start working. Try modifying your sleep cycle a little and observe if it helps you and your mental health.