People awake at this particular time of night have mental health problems – Study



New research shows there are a lot of benefits to sleeping before a certain time.

A new study from Imperial College London suggests that, regardless of whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, going to bed after 1 a.m. might be linked to poorer mental health.

Researchers found that people who consistently slept before 1 a.m. experienced lower rates of mental health issues, including depression, neurodevelopmental disorders, anxiety, and other disorders. Interestingly, even evening types (“night owls”) who stuck to a sleep schedule that pushed their bedtime past 1 a.m. showed the highest risk of mental health problems.

The study was published in Psychiatry Research and it analysed data from over 73,000 adults in the UK Biobank. Researchers focused on sleep patterns and self-reported mental health diagnoses. While the average sleep duration was around seven hours, the key factor seemed to be the timing of sleep rather than the total amount.

Individual circadian rhythms can influence personal sleep preferences. However, the study showed that circadian rhythm had nothing to do with the findings.

The study’s startling discovery was that when people went to sleep after 1 a.m., which is consistent with their chronotype, they had the poorest mental health. People who went to bed before 1 a.m. had the best mental health.