When Happy People Wake Up

You can get the benefits even if you don’t rise early.

Every athlete knows that education is a crucial part of performance. Sport and exercise research, insight from top trainers, science, and technology help you to better understand your body so you can craft a healthier lifestyle, workouts, and recovery plan.

In our daily news series, experts address some of the latest fitness research, nutrition, style, and health stories.

People who go to bed and wake up early (known as larks) are up to 27 percent less likely to suffer from depression than those who stay up and rise later (known as owls), according to a new study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.
Early birds catch more a.m. light than owls do, says study author Céline Vetter, director of the Circadian and Sleep Epidemiology Laboratory at the University of Colorado Boulder. There’s lots of evidence that healthy light-dark cycles—like seeing bright light in the morning and dim light at night—are beneficial for your mood, she adds.
If you’re more an owl than a lark, change your surroundings so they reflect those patterns. Vetter suggests opening your blinds when you wake up, going outside during lunch, and staying away from screens before bed to mimic the type of light that early birds see throughout the day. This is true for everyone but it’s especially important for late risers, who are already at a disadvantage.