By slightly adjusting your bed time routine, you could improve your mental health
Getting up early can be really hard at times. Especially when your bed feels warmer and much more welcoming than the outside world. But did you know that getting up early could reduce your risk of depression? New research shows that forcing yourself out of bed just a little earlier than you usually would, could actually improve your mood and your health.
A new study by the University of Colorado Boulder the Broad Institute of MIT, and Harvard shows that the early bird indeed gets the worm; people who get up early are happier than people who sleep in. According to the scientists, all you have to do is set your alarm a little earlier. The reason why? We all have a so-called chronotype; a habit of when we go to sleep that is partially determined through genetics. And that chronotype plays a part when it comes to our mental health. Science Daily writes that “… night owls are as much as twice as likely to suffer from depression as early risers, regardless of how long they sleep.”
So, how early do we have to get up to reap the benefits? That is the exact same question that the researchers asked themselves. Senior author and assistent professor of integrative physiology at CU Boulder Celine Vetter explains in a press statement: “We have known for some time that there is a relationship between sleep timing and mood, but a question we often hear from clinicians is: How much earlier do we need to shift people to see a benefit?” According to the study, you only need to get up one hour earlier in order to reduce the risk of depression. You can accomplish this by setting your alarm fifteen minutes earlier every day. It’s as easy as that!
Bad news for early risers: the research doesn’t mention anything about people who already get up pretty early. But if you usually don’t get up before 8 a.m., you might want to try and set your alarm a little earlier tomorrow morning.
Source: Real Simple | Image: Unsplash, Bruce Mars