Something about waking up earlier just feels right. The days seem longer and more productive, and watching the sunrise illuminate the morning dew tickles the soul. Dialling in a consistent routine and rising with the rhythm of nature seems to please our ancient biological machinery.
Although this rings true on an intuitive level, a recent study published in JAMA Psychiatry also backs up this feeling. A massive genetic study consisting of 840,000 people found that waking up a mere hour earlier can reduce the risk of major depression by an impressive 23 percent.
Researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder found that waking up earlier, while still sleeping for the same amount of time, can have a drastically positive impact on our mental health.
The team points to several factors that could influence these psychological benefits. For one, getting more light exposure during the day results in a flow of hormones that can positively impact mood. But the researchers state that clinical trials are needed to really explore the mechanism of this mental effect.