What time we wake up in the morning can make an impact on our mental health. There are “morning larks” who tend to wake up early and “night owls” who prefer to sleep in. A new study by JAMA Psychiatry says that waking up one hour earlier can reduce your depression by 23%, helping you get the most out of your day.

How Sleep Time Affects Mental Health 

The amount of sleep a person gets can make them more susceptible to disease. People who sleep late tend to be less active. Waking up at a certain time may be influenced by our genetics, but we still have the power to change that routine. Once you understand how your body’s biological clock works, you can work with your body to stay in sync with it. Knowing your sleep chronotype and the amount of sleep you need to be able to function can help you determine a proper sleep schedule.

Impact on Depression Risk

As a society, we are accustomed to a daily routine that starts when the sun begins to rise. Going to work, school, and opening your business starts in the morning. Waking up later in the morning can throw off your biological clock. Light can also have a positive effect on your mental health. Waking up and staying up later in the evening can leave you with less light. The JAMA Psychiatry study suggested the time people go to bed and wake up factors into risk of depression. Having more time to get things done by waking up earlier in the day and being exposed to more sunlight can make a difference in your mental health. 

How to Wake Up Early

One thing you can do is lessen your exposure to blue light from electronics. Blue light is known to inhibit the secretion of melatonin which is our body’s natural sleep chemical. You can also create as much darkness as possible in your room to prevent the light from keeping you awake. If that is not possible in your room, wear a sleep mask over your eyes. You should avoid drinking caffeinated beverages in the afternoon. Your sleep chronotype does not have to define you. By going to sleep one hour earlier than usual, you will be more well-rested and mentally fit to tackle your day.

Staying up late can have detrimental effects on your ability to be well-rested. If you do not have a full night’s sleep, you may be feeling sluggish and less active, increasing your risk of depression. A new study shows that going to sleep one hour earlier can make a significant difference in your mental health. At Alta Loma, we understand the importance of having a fully balanced, well-rested body and mind. Our transformative treatment center in Georgetown, Texas, offers individualized therapy, medication management, a long-term continuum of care, and therapeutic recreational activities to promote mental wellness. Please call (866) 457-3843 for more information.