Waking up early improves mood, lowers risk of depression: Harvard study
A recent study from researchers at the US universities of Harvard, MIT, and Colorado, show that waking earlier improves mood and lowers depression risk.
The study of 840,000 people, published May 26 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, represents some of the strongest evidence yet that chronotype—a person’s propensity to sleep at a certain time —influences mood and depression risk.
It’s also among the first studies to quantify just how much, or little, change is required to influence mental health.
Scientists have long known that people who wake up earlier tend to be happier. Night owls, people who fall asleep late at night and wake up late in the day, are twice as likely to suffer from depression.
Previous observational studies have shown that night owls are as much as twice as likely to suffer from depression as early risers, regardless of how long they sleep.
In 2018, a large, long term study of 32,000 nurses showed that “early risers” were up to 27% less likely to develop depression over the course of four years.
What Islam says about health benefits of waking up early and praying before dawn
There are many religious scriptures in Islam and other religions that clearly state the benefits to waking up early in the morning and praying at that time.
Knowing these benefits will help and motivate a person to end his sleep before dawn and rise at least two hours before sunrise.
There are also many benefits in praying before dawn, which has been recommended by all religions and schools of philosophy.
Rising early in the morning is inherently beneficial. But incorporating prayer at this time will maximize the gain.
Tahajjud, also known as the "night prayer", is a voluntary prayer performed by followers of Islam. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was recorded as performing the night prayer regularly himself and encouraging his companions too.
Other prophets before Muhammad (PBUH) also recommended their followers to pray at this holy time.
Numerous Qur'anic verses hadiths have reinforced the importance of rising early and performing night prayers.
In chapter 51 of the Qur’an, verses 17 and 18, God says that one of the signs of the righteous people is that they sleep only little at night, and pray for forgiveness before dawn.
Recent studies have confirmed these benefits, showing that people who rise early are physically and mentally healthier, earn more money and experience more success.