Chennai: Anitha, a 23-year-old was on the verge of depression before she decided to meet a psychiatrist. “The whole world seemed to be a nightmare. Whatever I tried, I couldn’t identify the reason for being so depressed,” she complained.
Only after several sittings with her psychiatrist did she realise that waking up late added to her depression. There is a hormone called melatonin that plays a role in your sleep. The production and release of melatonin in the brain is connected to the time of day, increasing when it’s dark and decreasing when it’s light, says Dr Badhur Moideen, a psychiatrist. “Early morning sunlight adds a good amount of energy to the body which helps in reducing the level of depression. .
While findings suggest that a person’s sleeping pattern is an independent risk factor for depression, studies clarified that this does not necessarily mean night owls will inevitably develop the illness.
“People under depression have the inability to plan out the day properly. When you wake up early in the morning because of the rest, your body and mind are relaxed and planning one’s day out is easier”, said Prabanand, a yoga instructor. We breathe fresh oxygen in the morning and the blood that reaches the brain is richer in oxygen than other hours of the day, contributing to reduced depression causing stimuli” he added.
Professor Mike Weedon, of the University of Exeter Medical School, England, said, ‘Large number of people who participated in the study provided the strongest evidence to date that “night owls” are at higher risk of mental health problems, such as schizophrenia and lower mental wellbeing, although further studies are needed to fully understand this link.’ “The link with depression could be explained by the fact that night owls are forced by their jobs and everyday life to get up early. Constantly having to fight against your natural body clock could have negative effects on your mental health.”
Lack of sleep also contributes to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, memory problems (including Alzheimer’s), mood swings, basic cognitive functioning, high blood pressure, balance issues, immune problems, and reduced sex drive....