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Depressed? Anxious? Your bedtime could be the reason why

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The saying goes “early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” It might not actually make a person wealthy, but going to bed early is a wise move for their mental health.

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A new study found those who regularly went to bed after 1 a.m. were more likely to experience mental health disorders like depression or anxiety.

The study also found night owls who go to bed after 1 a.m. and sleep in later are the most likely to notice the mental health impacts. 

One of the study’s authors said it could be linked to a theory called “mind after midnight.” The theory suggests the brain works differently late at night, which could impact mental health. 

The findings could also have to do with a person’s circadian rhythm, which impacts all the body’s processes.

Experts say it is important for the body to get strong signals that indicate when it is daytime, often coming in the form of morning sun. So, if the body is not getting those signals or is getting mixed signals, it can cause issues with its biology, which could also affect the brain. 

So, what does a person do if they cannot go to bed before 1 a.m., because of their job, for instance? Sleep experts said taking a 20 to 30-minute nap is a good start.

Experts also said people could also try exposing themselves to bright light, like a light box, during their dark working hours. Eating most of their meals in the daytime could also help. 

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[LAUREN TAYLOR]

THE SAYING GOES “EARLY TO BED AND EARLY TO RISE MAKES A MAN HEALTHY, WEALTHY, AND WISE.” 

WELL, IT MIGHT NOT MAKE YOU WEALTHY… BUT IT TURNS OUT, GOING TO BED EARLY *IS* A WISE MOVE FOR YOUR HEALTH. 

SPECIFICALLY – YOUR MENTAL HEALTH. 

A NEW STUDY FOUND THOSE WHO REGULARLY WENT TO BED AFTER 1 A-M… WERE MORE LIKELY TO EXPERIENCE MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS LIKE DEPRESSION OR ANXIETY. 

AND IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A NIGHT OWL – THE STUDY FOUND NIGHT OWLS WHO GO TO BED AFTER 1 A-M AND SLEEP IN LATER ARE ACTUALLY THE MOST LIKELY TO NOTICE THE MENTAL HEALTH IMPACTS. 

ONE OF THE STUDY’S AUTHORS SAID IT COULD BE LINKED TO A THEORY CALLED “MIND AFTER MIDNIGHT” – WHICH SUGGESTS THE BRAIN WORKS DIFFERENTLY LATE AT NIGHT… WHICH COULD IMPACT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH. 

IT COULD ALSO HAVE TO DO WITH YOUR CIRCADIAN RHYTHM, WHICH IMPACTS ALL OF YOUR BODY’S PROCESSES. 

EXPERTS SAY IT’S IMPORTANT FOR OUR BODIES TO GET STRONG SIGNALS THAT IT’S DAYTIME – OFTEN COMING IN THE FORM OF MORNING SUN. 

SO, IF YOUR BODY ISN’T GETTING THOSE SIGNALS OR IS GETTING MIXED SIGNALS… IT CAN CAUSE ISSUES WITH YOUR BIOLOGY, WHICH COULD ALSO AFFECT YOUR BRAIN. 

SO WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOU *CAN’T* GO TO BED BEFORE 1 A-M – BECAUSE OF YOUR JOB, FOR INSTANCE? 

SLEEP EXPERTS SAID TAKING AT 20 TO 30-MINUTE NAP IS A GOOD START. 

YOU COULD ALSO TRY EXPOSING YOURSELF TO BRIGHT LIGHT – LIKE A LIGHT BOX – DURING YOUR DARK WORKING HOURS. 

EATING MOST OF YOUR MEALS IN THE DAYTIME COULD ALSO HELP.