Early Risers May Be Genetically Less Likely To Get Depression Symptoms: An Overview

Oct 18, 2023 By Madison Evans

Depression is one of the most common mental disorders. It involves loss of pleasure, depressed mood, hopelessness, and disappointment. Besides that, it also involves changes in mental, emotional, and physical health, which brings difficulties in daily activities.

Depression is usually linked with sleep troubles. According to the latest studies, people genetically more active in the morning than in the evening are at lower risk of experiencing depression and anxiety. The studies further add that rising an hour earlier can decrease the risk of depression by 23%, which is pretty significant.

If you are a night owl and suffering from depression, you need to train yourself to be an early bird. So, dim light in your home earlier at night so that you can benefit more from the sunlight in the day and can fight against depression better.

Are Early Risers Are Genetically Less Likely To Get Depression Symptoms: What Does Study Say

After environmental factors like light exposure, genes, body weight, chronic diseases, physical activity, and work schedule, the other factor that causes depression is sleep. The studies have proved that night owls suffer from depression more than early risers.

Per the available data, the risk of developing depression in night owls is two times higher than the early risers. The study has also added that waking up earlier will reduce the risk of depression by 23%.

According to the research, whether you will be a night owl or an early rise depends on your genes. Specific genes, like PER2 and RORA, influence whether you will sleep earlier or later. After the genes, the other factor that affects the sleep cycle is light exposure.

The influence of genes on sleep is about 12 to 42%; other factors can disturb your sleep cycle. So, if you are suffering from depression or want to reduce the risk of developing this disorder, you need to change your sleeping habits!

Link Between Sleep And Depression Explained

The feeling of anger, sadness, and loss characterizes depression. These mood disorders are linked with sleep; the other factors that influence them include family history and stress.

Saying that sleep and depression are closely linked would not be wrong. Different studies have also proved that. Sleep issues and depression have a bidirectional and complex relationship. Therefore, understanding which influences the other is a big challenge.

Depression can cause sleep issues, and if you suffer from depression, you may not sleep well at night. But, whether depression causes sleep issues or sleep issues are the cause of depression is unclear.

Depression And Genetics

More than 10% of the population is suffering from depression, and this disorder has become common over the recent years. But do you know whether genes influence depression?

Different studies have been conducted to find out the causes of depression. The results reveal that the contribution of genes to the development of this mental disorder is about 40 to 50%, while the remaining 50% of cases are unrelated to your genetic makeup.

The family history can also increase the risk of depression. For instance, if your parents or siblings suffer from depression, you can be at a higher risk of developing depression by 2 to 3 percent compared to others.

The other non-genetic factors that can cause depression can be childhood physical and emotional abuse, stress, and physical negligence. Also, losing a parent can cause depression in kids. Still, there are many other causes of depression which are not known yet.

Tips For Better Sleep with Depression

So, if you are suffering from depression and facing issues while sleeping, the following are the tips which can help you to sleep better at night:

Talking To The Therapist

Different therapies are available which can help you fight depression and can change your sleeping habits. Therapeutic models like interpersonal psychotherapy, CBT, and psychodynamic therapy can help you deal with the thought processes that cause depression. Ultimately, it helps you to sleep better at night. Besides that, you can cope with depression and sleep peacefully at night.

Nap Carefully

If you cannot sleep at night, you would like to nap during the day. In that case, you need to keep the nap brief. Per the studies, the ideal nap is 10 to 20 minutes only, also called a power nap.

The power naps reduce sleepiness, regulate emotions, and boost your overall performance. The naps that last for more than twenty minutes influence your overall performance, and if a nap is shorter than 10 minutes, you may not benefit from the power naps.

Following A Consistent Sleep Schedule

Depression can make it challenging for you to stick to a routine. But, you must try to sleep at the same time as it lets your body sleep for at least seven hours a day. Also, a better sleep routine helps the body to wind down.

Going Outside

You must spend enough time outdoors in the sunlight as it will help you sleep better at night. Also, light exposure will align the body’s internal clock, improving your well-being as sunlight keeps your body active and alert.

The body produces melatonin when the sun goes down, which induces sleepiness. Therefore, when you stay outside, the light will trigger the natural chemicals that will help you to sleep earlier and better at night.

Doing Exercise Regularly

Whether you are doing light or vigorous exercise, it will greatly impact your mood and let you fall asleep earlier at night. Also, exercise reduces the symptoms of depression. So, if you are thinking of doing the exercise, choose the first part of that day for this activity. If you exercise at night, it can have an impact on your sleep cycle.


Per the latest scientific studies, people who get up earlier in the morning are less prone to depression, stay more active, and are good at making decisions. So, if you are a night owl and experience symptoms of depression or other mental issues, try to rise earlier!

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