It is already known that ‘early birds’ are up to 27% less likely to have a depression compared to night owls. However, the definition of ‘early bird’ was not that clear. In other words, at what time you need to go to bed to be considered an ‘early bird’?

A recent large study gave an answer to this question. The study analyzed the genetic information of nearly 840.000 people to find how variants in genes influence when we sleep and wake up. By the way, there are more than 340 common genetic variants that influence our preference time to go to bed. However, genetics is responsible only for 12-42% of our sleep timing preference.

Besides the genetics, the researchers also defined the average sleep midpoint (which was 3 a.m.) of the participants and compared this with genetic information and medical records of people with depression.

It turned out that those with genetic predisposition of being ‘early birds’ had a lower risk of depression. The researchers also found that each 1 hour earlier sleep midpoint (halfway between bedtime and wake time) was linked to a 23% lower risk of depression. These findings were applicable for those in the intermediate range or evening range of sleeping time. Whether the ‘early birds’ could benefit from getting up even earlier was unclear.

Curious? HERE is the source

Tatsiana Haponava, PhD

a certified nutrition coach, educator and researcher with a PhD degree

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