Mental health is as important as your physical health and they both are closely connected to each other. Apart from COVID-19, many are suffering from depression because of the lockdown blues. Mental health can create a great impact on your physical health and vice versa. WHO stated, “No Health Without Mental Health.”  

In December 1963, Randy Gardner, a 17-year old stayed awake for 11 days and 25 minutes for Guinness Records for the world’s longest period of voluntary sleeplessness. Guinness canceled this category as it was too dangerous. Randy later said that he didn’t have physical problems but his mental health went downhill. Every mammal needs sleep, insomnia/poor sleep can cause a risk of developing health hazards and depression.   

A recent study gives answers for why sleeplessness caused haunting effects for Randy Gardner. In the paper published in the journal, JAMA psychiatry researchers say that changing sleep patterns can lower the risk of major depressive disorder.

Celine Vetter, assistant professor at the University of Colorado and the research senior author says the one-hour earlier sleep midpoint is the halfway point between bedtime and wake time. For instance, If a person sleeps from 1 a.m to but changes their sleep time behavior to midnight, it can benefit and could cut their risk. 

This research included 850,000 participants of which 85,000 wore sleep trackers and 250,000 filled out surveys on their sleep habits. The average sleep midpoint was 3 a.m, to calculate risk the data were collected from depressed and non-depressed individuals. The finding is not within depressed individuals because it requires access to the relationship between sleep timings and severity. The participants’ genetic data was collected and it’s said that 340 genetic variants influence a person’s chronotype.

The team with the information collected, analyzed for connections between different factors and found out that people with genetic variants influenced them to wake up early and also have a lower risk of depression. The research concluded that one-hour shifts might help night owls but it’s unclear whether early birds can benefit from this.

Celine Vetter says that the research needs further follow-up to find if there’s an ideal time frame to sleep. He advises to “keep your days bright and your nights dark,” and it’s also important to have greater exposure to sunlight, more sunlight gives more positive hormonal impacts. Changing your sleep schedule is important and it should be incorporated with spending more time outside and using fewer electronics in the evening.  

Sleep habits influence good mood and health here are some easy tips to shoo off your depression 

  • Get enough sleep 
  • Have a proper well-balanced diet 
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs 
  • Do exercise regularly 
  • Practice relaxation techniques 
  • Think positive 

Your mental health plays a huge impact on your health and well-being. If you’re facing depression for a long time, don’t deal with it alone, seek help from your family and friends immediately.