Shift of sleep mode for an hour by quarter reduces the risk of depression

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A genetic study of 840,000 people conducted in the United States is one of the most reliable evidence that the chronotype is the tendency of a person to go to bed at a certain time — affects the risk of depression. Also, scientists among the first gave a quantitative assessment of how little is required to undermine mental health.

«We already know about the relationship between sleep and mood, but doctors often ask us the question: how much should people need to go to bed, so that the benefits have become noticeable? — said Selin Wetter, Professor of the University of Colorado in Boulder and senior author of the article. «We found that even a regime shift for one hour significantly reduces the risk of depression.»

Previous observations have shown that the «owls» almost twice as much as they suffer from depression than the «larks», regardless of sleep duration. But since the affective sleep disorders can cause disorders of sleep mode, the scientist was not easy to understand where the reason, and where is the consequence.

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Scientists decided to answer this question by contacting the data collected by the British Biobank project and 23 and me genetic company. The data was applied by the Mendel randomization method, which helps to separate the cause from the investigation. This gave a more accurate picture of how the options of genes affect when we sleep and when we wake up,

Approximately one third of the research participants considered themselves the larks, 9% are owls, and the rest were difficult to determine. On average, half of the sleep respondents accounted for 3 o’clock in the morning, that is, the majority went to bed at about 11 pm, and got up — at 6 am.

The researchers then analyzed genetic information, as well as medical data and discharged recipes, and applied statistical methods to gain an answer to the question, are the genetic options that make people «Larks» really determine the reduced risk of developing depression? And the answer was confident yes.

From the study it is not clear whether there will be a lark advantage if they become even earlier. The reasons for the identified pattern also have to be found out. Perhaps the reason is in a larger light day, which launches cascade hormonal reactions in the body. Or psychological pressure from society on those who later fall and feels convicted by the majority.

«Owls» and «Lark» differ from each other genetically. To such


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