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Early Bedtime Before 1 AM Reduces Anxiety And Depression Risk, UK Study Finds

A recent study suggests that going to bed before 1 am may reduce the risk of mental and behavioral disorders, based on analysis of 74,000 UK adults' sleep patterns.
06:47 PM Jun 18, 2024 IST | Swechchha
early bedtime before 1 am reduces anxiety and depression risk  uk study finds
Good sleep for good health

Quality sleep is essential for maintaining good health, with experts recommending adults aim for seven to nine uninterrupted hours nightly. The "early to bed, early to rise" routine is widely advocated as optimal for establishing a healthy sleep pattern.

Study Findings from the UK

A recent study published in Psychiatry Research from the UK validates the benefits of early bedtime, suggesting that going to bed before 1 am may lower the risk of mental and behavioral disorders such as anxiety and depression.

Research Methodology and Key Insights

The study examined sleep patterns of 74,000 UK adults, analyzing each participant's chronotype (preferred sleep timing) and actual sleep behaviors. Contrary to previous beliefs, adherence to chronotype did not significantly influence mental health impacts. Timing and quality of sleep emerged as critical factors according to Jamie Zeitzer, a Stanford University professor involved in the research.

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Impact of Late Sleep on Mental Health

Individuals identifying as night owls (going to bed after 1 am) were found to have a 20% to 40% higher likelihood of mental health disorders compared to those with earlier or intermediate sleep schedules. Conversely, early risers showed the most favorable mental health outcomes.

Theory Behind Better Mental Health for Early Risers

Jamie Zeitzer proposed that early risers may benefit from increased social interaction during daylight hours, contrasting with potential isolation experienced by late-night individuals.

 Limitations of the Study

Dr. Indira Gurubhagavatula from the University of Pennsylvania highlighted limitations including the study's predominantly white, middle-aged participant pool and the use of a single-question chronotype assessment. She emphasized the need for more comprehensive questionnaires to accurately assess morning or evening.

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