Are you a morning or evening person? Most people have a preference and find that they’re more awake and productive at certain times of the day, but these variations in our circadian rhythms can also impact overall mood. Scientists are investigating a link between night owls and depression to see if sleep patterns contribute to mood disturbances.
You already know that if you don’t sleep enough you can find yourself grouchy, unfocused, or just feeling off the next day. But when you sleep matters too. In a four-year study with women around age 55, evening people were 6% more likely to develop depression and morning people were 12% less likely to become depressed.
Although researchers aren’t yet sure exactly what it is about late nights that contributes to mood problems, the good news is you can shift your own circadian rhythms. Many professionals benefit from greater alertness in the morning and this can be easily achieved by slowly moving your bedtime back and waking up earlier. The key is to stick to the new sleep and wake times every day (weekends included) to help your body adjust.