Are you up every morning before the alarm ready to greet the day with a smile? New research suggests those natural early risers may be happier and less prone to depression than those who regularly stay up late and have to get up early for work. It’s all about your natural sleep and wake cycles and whether you’re working with or against yours.
Anew studyfinds people whose sleep pattern goes against their natural body clock are more likely to have depression and lower levels of wellbeing. More than 450-thousand middle-aged volunteers participated, identifying themselves as night owls or early birds and answering questions about their mental health. About two-thirds of participants describe themselves as early birds and they were found to be 21% less likely to have depression than the night owls.
And that may be because those natural early risers tend to have similar wake and sleep times on weekdays and weekends, while night owls who stay up late during the week and have to get up early for work may sleep in on weekends to play catch up. Defying their body clocks by waking earlier than they like can leave them with a “jet lag” feeling that’s linked to depression and unhappiness.