This is the effect that going to bed late has on your mental health

mental health

You’re increasing the risk of several mental illnesses

If it’s to finish an assignment, or because you’re working late or just ’cause that Netflix show is too darn exciting; we all go to bed late sometimes. But what if you go to bed late most nights? Apparently, being a night owl can influence your mental health in a negative way.

Biological rhythm

There are obvious reasons why going to bed late can be bad for your health. It goes without saying that staying up until two in the morning, when you have to get up at eight, won’t do wonders for your physical and mental wellbeing. But there are other, less obvious ways, in which your health is influenced by your bedtime. Nature Communications, a journal that publishes research, states that people who like to get up early in the morning have a lower risk of mental health issues compared to people who like to stay up late.


The study, that was conducted at the University of Exter, used data from 700,000 participants. These participants were supposed to say whether they were a morning person or a real night owl. After that, their DNA was investigated. This research showed that people who liked to go to bed late were more susceptible to mental health issues. These include issues like depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. A night owl is ten percent more likely to develop schizophrenia than people who go to bed early.

According to Samuel Jones, who is a researcher in genetics at the University of Exeter, night owls like to work through their sleep, meaning they’ll get over the feeling of being sleepy, causing them to stay up longer. Jones says that this has some negative effect on the mentality of these night owls. The Columbia University Department of Psychiatry adds that people who are considered mentally ‘healthy’ can show signs of anxiety and mental distress when they had a bad night’s sleep.

In this case, going to bed a little earlier couldn’t hurt!

Also read: These five tips will help you fall asleep faster

Source: Elegance, Columbia Psychiatry | Image: Unsplash, Isabella and Zsa Fischer