Are you a morning or an evening person?
Early birds tend to be emotionally healthier than night owls, as eveningness and depression are significantly related. One reason for this link could be the choice of emotion regulation strategies.
A new study by Watts and Norbury (2017) found that 240 people’s chronotype was associated, on average, with their way of managing emotions, even after controlling for sleep.
Early birds used more cognitive reappraisal: mindset shifts toward positive interpretations of stressful events, which is highly beneficial, whereas night owls used more expressive suppression: inhibition of emotional reactions, which is less effective and maladaptive.
This suggests that night owls have a greater risk for depression because they tend to suppress their emotions. (Of course, there is likely a host of other factors involved, too.)
Now ask yourself: Do you prefer being up early or staying up late? How happy are you? How do you tend to regulate your emotions? Consider that these three things may be related.
Watts AL, Norbury R (2017). Reduced Effective Emotion Regulation in Night Owls. Journal of Biological Rhythms [Epub ahead of print], doi: 10.1177/0748730417709111.
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