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Early risers ‘less likely to develop mental health problems’

People who are naturally early risers are less likely to develop mental health problems than “night owls”, according to scientists.

A large-scale genetics study found being biologically programmed to wake up early is linked to greater happiness and a lower risk of schizophrenia and depression.

The scientists behind the work said evening types may be at greater risk from the mental toll of having to fight their natural body clock due to most schools and workplaces having early start times.

The study used genetics data from 250,000 research participants signed up to the private genetics company 23andMe, and 450,000 people in the UK Biobank study. Participants were asked whether they were a “morning person” or an “evening person”, and their genomes were analysed, revealing certain genes people shared that appeared to influence sleep patterns.

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