This just in: People who are naturally early risers are less likely to develop mental health problems than “night owls”, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Communications.
The study authors found that being a “morning person” who wakes up with the birds is linked to greater happiness and a lower risk of schizophrenia and depression and that night owls may be at greater risk from the strain of having to fight their natural body clock, as school most workplaces have an early start time.
Professor Mike Weedon who led the research said: “This study highlights a large number of genes which can be studied in more detail to work out how different people can have different body clocks.”
Although your body clock is determined by your genes (so if you’re grumpy in the mornings it’s just the way you’re wired) try these three tips to shift it so you can join the birds:
1. Open the blinds and curtains in your house in the mornings. Or better still, go for a walk outside. Increased light exposure in the AM is thought to be the key to adjusting your internal clock.
2. Decrease your blue light exposure in the evenings. “Switch off your electronic devices two hours before you want to fall asleep,” says sleep specialist Olivia Arezzolo.
3. Start shifting your timings slowly. Begin by going to bed 15 minutes earlier than usual and waking up 15 minutes earlier in the morning. After a few days move it to 20 minutes and so on until you’re an annoyingly cheery morning person.