You may have heard the old saying, “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Well, it’s not just good for men. New research says it can also help women avoid depression.
At least that’s what researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder and the Channing Division of Network Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston have found. Their new study suggests middle-to-older aged women who are naturally early to bed and early to rise are significantly less likely to develop depression.
The study followed more than 32,000 female nurses. The researchers wanted to know if their sleep-wake preferences (or chronotype) affected their mood. They took into account environmental factors, such as light exposure, and the nurses’ work schedules.
Their findings confirm the age-old wisdom - that going to bed early and getting up early can help your mood stay upbeat throughout the day.
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“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 lead author Céline Vetter, director of the Circadian and Sleep Epidemiology Laboratory (CASEL) at CU Boulder.
This news isn’t all that surprising. Previous studies have shown that night owls are as much as twice as likely to suffer from depression. But these studies didn’t determine if the depression caused people to stay up late - or if staying up late caused the depression. This new studies suggests your bedtime can indeed affect your mood. In fact, it can lower your risk by 12-27%.
So if you want to avoid depression as you age, make sure you’re getting to bed early and getting up early. Most people don’t need more than seven to eight hours of sleep per night. So going to bed at 10:00 pm allows you to sleep until 5:00 or 6:00 am. This is considered a very healthy sleep schedule.
The trouble with switching to this schedule is that it can be hard to get to sleep at first. If you experience this trouble, then try a supplement like Advanced Sleep Formula. It can help you get to sleep quickly, sleep through the night, and not feel groggy in the morning.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening, ND.