If you prefer sleeping in and snoozing your alarm, it might be time to change your habits. According to a study by researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, morning people are actually happier than night owls.
Based on their research, getting up just an hour earlier than your usual time could reduce your risk of depression by 23 percent. And for each hour earlier that you get up, the greater the reduction of the risk of depression. We're making a distinction here between waking up and getting up.
The researchers cited the link between mood and chronotype, the preference for mornings or evenings, and found that morning people have "better alignment" in terms of work and rest schedules while night owls struggle more to adapt. One U.K. study referred to the chronotype of morning people as "protective of depression and improves wellbeing."
Chronotype is apparently genetic, so you might just be born into a family of night owls, but according to the study's author Celine Vetter, you can "hack" your genes and your body clock.
"Light is one of the main factors to pay attention to, so try to keep your days bright (seek time outside, for example, especially in the mornings), and make your nights dark," said Vetter.
Other hacks you can try include avoiding electronics before bed, exercising early in the day, and avoiding late-night snacking as much as possible.
It should be a given that going to bed and getting up early is healthier than all-nighters and waking up past noon. But it's good to have a reminder, especially if your happiness and mental health are at stake.
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