Women who rise up early in the morning have been found to have lesser chances of developing depression compared to women who stay up late
- Women who go to sleep early and also wake up early in the morning are less likely to develop depression.
- Women who stay up late or otherwise called as night owls have been found a significantly higher risk of depression.
- When both the early risers and night owls were compared, the early risers had a 12 - 27 percent lower risk of developing depression compared to the night owls.
, finds a new study. The findings of this study are published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research
More than 32,000 female nurses were included in the study. It is considered to be the largest and most detailed observational study up until this time. In this, the researchers have explored the link between sleep-wake preference (chronotype), and mood disorders.
‘Even though the study suggests that chronotype is an independent factor for depression causation, it does not mean that people who stay up late and wake up late are doomed to be depressed. Author’s advice to those people is that to get enough sleep, dim the lights at night, and try to get as much light by day as possible.’
"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," said Céline Vetter, the lead author of the study.
From previously researched material it has been found that people who stay up late (night owls) are twice as likely to suffer from depression
, but those studies according to the author used data at a single point in time and didn't account for other factors that could have influenced depression risk.
All the study participants at the beginning of the study were free of depression. In the beginning, when they were asked about their sleeping patterns, nearly 37 percent described themselves as early types, 53 percent- intermediate types and ten percent-evening types. The participants were followed up for four years to determine who had actually developed depression in the end.
Various depression factors such as body weight, physical activity, chronic disease, sleep duration, or night shift work were also taken into account while doing the study.
Along with the main result, they also found that late chronotypes or night owls were less likely to get married and live alone, smoke and have erratic sleep patterns. Early risers were also found to have a 12 - 27 percent lower risk of being depressed when compared to who sleep at an intermediate time (not too early, not too late). The late type were to found to have a 6 percent higher risk than intermediate types.
"This tells us that there might be an effect of chronotype on depression risk that is not driven by environmental and lifestyle factors," said Vetter. But he also insists that
while the study does suggest that chronotype is an independent risk factor for depression, it does not really mean that night owls are doomed to be depressed
"Yes, chronotype is relevant when it comes to depression, but it is a small effect," she says, noting that her study found a more modest effect than previous ones have.
A prospective study of chronotype and incident depression among middle- and older-aged women in the Nurses' Health Study II study cited in Journal of Psychiatric Research. Published on 2018.05.022