Studies show that early risers are up to 27% less likely to suffer from depression compared to night owls. According to the research, exposure to early-morning light is to blame. Sunlight might as well be rays of happiness. Here’s a closer look at what the studies found.

Depression Loves Darkness

The most recent study was published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research. Lead author Celine Vetter, director of the Circadian and Sleep Epidemiology Laboratory at the University of Colorado Boulder, says that there’s a lot of evidence out there supporting the importance of healthy light cycles.

Another study, conducted at the RWTH Aachen University in Germany, arrived at the same conclusion: night owls have an increased risk of depression. Bright sunlight in the morning and dim light at night improves mental health.

Wake Up Early For Better Body Chemistry

How does sunlight impact health? Hormone levels prefer maximum sunlight exposure. The body produces more testosterone in the morning. Stress hormone levels are lower, and your body is primed for exercise in the morning hours.

Optimal hormone levels support muscle repair and growth. Eating a small amount of protein in the morning can boost dopamine levels, a neurotransmitter that’s critical for staying motivated and fighting depression.

Early Risers Weigh Less

If your mental health doesn’t get your booty out of bed in the morning, the weight scale will. According to a study conducted by Northwestern Medicine, the timing, duration, and intensity of light exposure are linked to weight gain.

Exposure to bright light in the morning is connected to a lower body mass index (BMI). The results are in. Happy people wake up early because it makes them happy. If you want to lose weight and cut your risk of depression by 27%, ditch the nightlife and turn into a morning lark.