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A new Journal of Psychiatric Research-published study has found that women who naturally are early to bed and early to rise are less prone to depression.

A team from the University of Colorado Boulder and the Channing Division of Network Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston analysed data from more than 32,000 female nurses in their research.

This is both the largest and most detailed observational study examining chronotype (a person's sleep-wake preference) and mood disorders.

Speaking on the findings, lead author Céline Vetter told Science Daily, "Our results show a modest link between chronotype and depression risk. This could be related to the overlap in genetic pathways associated with chronotype and mood."

Even after accounting for environmental factors, their findings suggest that there is a link between chronotype, which is partially determined by genetics, and likelihood of depression.

The team came to their conclusions after exploring data from 32,470 women, average age 55, who participated in the Nurses' Health Study.

They started tracking the women's health in 2009 when they were all depression-free. Over the next four years, the researchers followed the women to see who developed depression.

The participants filled out health questionnaires every two years. When answering questions about their sleep patterns, 37 percent said that they were early types. 53 percent described themselves as intermediate types and another 10 percent said they were evening types.

After accounting for depression risk factors like body weight, physical activity, chronic disease, sleep duration, or night shift work, the team still found that early risers were less prone to depression.

More specifically, early risers had a 12 to 27 percent lower risk of depression than intermediate types.

"This tells us that there might be an effect of chronotype on depression risk that is not driven by environmental and lifestyle factors," Vetter, who is also director of the Circadian and Sleep Epidemiology Laboratory (CASEL) at CU Boulder, noted.

Whether we're a night owl or early bird is partially determined by genetics, and research has shown that this trait has a 12 to 42 percent heritability.

Certain genes, like PER2 and RORA, influence both when we prefer to go to bed and rise as well as influence depression risk.

"Alternatively, when and how much light you get also influences chronotype, and light exposure also influences depression risk," Vetter said.

"Disentangling the contribution of light patterns and genetics on the link between chronotype and depression risk is an important next step."

It's not all bad news for night owls, though, she said: "Yes, chronotype is relevant when it comes to depression but it is a small effect."

She recommends that evening types take certain steps that will help them turn in earlier, as people can influence their bedtime preferences.

Getting enough sleep, spending time outdoors, getting daylight, exercising, and dimming lights at night can all help you embrace your inner early bird.

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Moving in together is a big step.

Yeah, it's exciting and the thoughts of having your own place with the person you're mad about sounds fab but think of it realistically.

All privacy is gone and you no longer even have your own personal space, your own bedroom. 

So what about…separate rooms?

It might not be as horrifying as it sounds as a survey of 2,000 couples suggests that sleeping apart could lead to better quality sex.

The research found that four in ten couples sleep apart most nights, and that of these, 34% claim they have better quality sex and more of it, while 38% say that sleeping apart improved their relationship.

Sounds great to us.

So what were the reasons for not sleeping together? 

They included different sleep cycles, their partner moving around too much in bed, having different shift patterns, and snoring. 

A good night’s sleep can help our sex lives, as it increases sexual desire and pleasure so separate beds might do the trick. 

Now it can reduce opportunities for intimacy – 24% of those who slept separately said they had sex less frequently as a result.

So to ensure sexy time stay near the top of the list, schedule sex or just making time for skin-to-skin contact during the day to replace the late-night spooning.

Mind coach Anna Williamson told Metro, ''If your partner is restless in the night, perhaps they snore or breathe heavily, and as a result, keep you awake or disturb you throughout the night, it can be a good idea to sleep apart from your partner in order to catch up on some much-needed sleep.''

She continued, ''Physical contact is essential in keeping a relationship connected. Touching each other releases feel good, love endorphins, and often being in bed can be the best time of the day to communicate effectively with each other. Pillow talk is a really emotionally positive thing to do and it can help you feel safe and secure as you both hopefully drop off to sleep together.''

So why not try it out and see if it works for you and your partner?

Yo never know, it could be the spark to lit both your fires…

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We all know sleep deprivation can lead to some major health issues, but according to researchers in Duke University, loss of sleep effects women harder than men.

The study surveyed 210 men and women aged between 18 and 65. They were asked about the quality of their sleep, and frequency as well as other health measures like psychological distress and physical well-being.

The researchers found that not getting enough sleep on a regular basis is linked with hints of higher rates of inflammation, elevated stress levels, blood sugar regulation problems, increased hostility, and a heightened risk of depression… But, only in women.

 

 

As well as that, the more problems women had sleeping, the higher their body mass indexes were.

Yep, we're thinking WTF too.

The researchers suggest that this is because women don't have as much testosterone which can protect the body's cells from inflammation and may also protect the brain and other organs from sleep deprivation and stress.

As for the weight gain? Well, the authors of the study think that the balance of our hormones are to blame and can be thrown totally out of whack if we don't get enough sleep.

The researchers suggest that rather trying to boost your testosterone levels, developing a solid bedtime routine should do the trick, and giving yourself more time to fall asleep will help, too.

So now you have ample opportunity to tell your other half to shut up in the middle of the night. It's justified, right?

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We've all heard that sleeping on silk pillowcases is good for you, whether it's from your granny, mum or favourite Instagram influencer.

We could do with some beauty sleep as the mid-week slump is hitting us hard, so we brushed up on some of the best benefits of sleeping on silk. 

 

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1. Anti-ageing purposes

Ever wake up with a crumpled complexion thanks to your cotton pillows? Silk can prevent those unsightly red ridges that can appear from sleeping on creased bedding.

Having less stress and creasing on your skin can help to prevent the deepening and acceleration of wrinkles. 

2. Save that skin

'If you’re prone to breakouts, whether it’s because of hormones, genetics or stress, (pillowcases) can exacerbate an already delicate situation and cause micro-irritation,' Ellen Clark, the founder and president of Control Corrective Skincare Systems told The Huffington Post.

This can happen regardless of the material of your pillow, but for those with breakouts already, the lack of friction in silk can help prevent further irritation, and the cool temperature of silk can give some momentary relief to hot, irritable skin. 

 

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3. De-frizz that bed head

'Cotton is a material meant to absorb moisture, and it will do just that to your hair,' hair stylist Ali Batista told In The Style.

'Hairstyles that lack moisture tend to appear frizzy, lifeless, and more prone to static.'

'Silk is a material that will allow hair to slide around more smoothly so you will have less breakage, and no more bed-head.'

4. Tangle teaser

As well as minimising frizz, the lack of friction can also prevent tangles in your hair.

If you are one to wake up with a bird's nest of tangles on the back of your head, a silk pillow could definitely help rectify the issue. 

5. Hypoallergenic is better

Silk pillows are hypoallergenic, so better for your overall health whether you suffer from allergies or not. 

Hypoallergenic pillows minimise the risk of dust mites and other nasty bedding nuisances. 

Pass us the silk pillowcase please!

Image result for cinderella sleep

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We all do it. Remember that absolutely mortifying thing you did seven years ago in school that you can't seem to shake off?

The anxiety of saying "you're welcome" instead of "thank you" when someone holds the door open for you, the sheer sweat-worthy fear of falling down (or up) the stairs on your bus, you name it, and we've worried about it.

We've always assumed that our furry little friends simply don't have these worries, but now SCIENCE (gasp) has disproved this, and we're shook. 

grim reaper wtf GIF by Studio Flox

The Royal Society scientific journal has published a study which supports the result that doggos struggle to nod off if they have anything troubling them, meaning that we're not as different as we think.

All that time that you lay in your bed, pondering that terrible moment when you asked your friend how their grand-dad up the North is getting on in his nursing home, and they reply that they are, in fact, deceased, leaving you stewing in shame.

The time in work that you were wandering around with your knickers tucked into the back of your skirt, the time you threw up at the local disco after one Blue WKD, even the time you said "keep the change" to the lad in Spar, and it was only a five cent coin.

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Doggies apparently sit up and ponder their embarrassments and worries too, maybe they get anxiety about the lack of 'good boy' praise which they received that day.

"Does my human still love me?" They think, as they rest their head on their paws, with a slow, violin concerto playing in the background.

scared dog GIF

"What if they actually don't like cleaning up my poop?"

"What if they send me to the pound and I get embroiled in the local gang war between the Pug Thugs and the Rottweiler Pilers?"

They stare glumly out of the rain-splattered window, tossing and turning following a negative experience at the dog walking park that day.

scared insomnia GIF

The study stated that dogs tend to fall asleep much faster following a negative day, presumably to escape from the terrible consequences of the day.

We still think of the horrendously awkward things we were doing in 2005, forever looking up at the blank ceiling searching for answers…

Feature image: Pets4Homes

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Some say it’s priceless but, today, exhausted women have put a figure on what they believe a good night’s sleep is worth.

According to new research, desperately tired mums, who are arguably the most tired demographic among us, say they’d splash out £123 for a single night’s uninterrupted sleep.

That’s almost £45,000 a year and a quarter of a million pounds over the course of five years.

The survey of 2,000 Brits to celebrate the launch of the world’s first personalised pillow service, nanu, revealed that mums are the most sleep deprived of all and, as such, would give up some of life’s little luxuries, for a bit of shuteye.

Almost one in four would wave goodbye to wine, a third would give up chocolate and the same number admit they’d happily go without sex if it meant they could increase their current five hours’ broken sleep a night to the recommended eight.

Fewer than half that number of men (12 percent) said they’d swap sex for sleep, preferring to give up booze, their phones or chocolate.

The average person survives on just six hours and 24 minutes’ sleep a night, and almost half of adults (46 percent) say they’re lucky if they get one night of uninterrupted sleep every month.

More than seven out of 10 reckon they’re a “bad sleeper” and almost nine out of 10 wake up at least once every night.

Other than kids keeping us awake, we’re worriers with many laying awake thinking about money, family, health and jobs, as well as household chores and even Brexit.

More women (74 percent) say worry keeps them awake than men (56 percent).

Other reasons for our restlessness include old and uncomfortable mattresses and pillows, noisy neighbours and our pets.

Just a tiny handful – seven percent – say they’re lucky enough to enjoy a refreshing snooze every single night.

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Sleep is our number one bae.

There's nothing better than waking up with knowing you don't actually have to get up (hello, bank holiday weekend!), and so we roll around in our toasty beds and clock in some more zzzs.

Well, now new research has suggested the amount of sleep we should get based on our age.

alarm, bell, clock

We've known for a long time that eight hours is the minimum needed, but how many of us actually get that amount every night?

The National Sleep Foundation created a chart, made up by 18 scientists, and confirmed that "younger adults," should indeed be getting 7-9 hours.

  • Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day

 

  • Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours

 

  • Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours

 

  • Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours

 

  • School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours

 

  • Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours

 

  • Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)

 

  • Adults (26-64): Sleep range is 7-9 hours

 

  • Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)

The NSF stressed that we have to "make sleep a priority," and even though that may be a tad difficult, it's definitely set in our minds now.

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Battling for covers and space, getting a kick or elbow to the side or waking up to something poking you in the back isn’t what we dreamed of sharing a bed with bae.

Although it does have its special moments when you’re cuddled up and you can hear the rain pelting the window, or he hands you a coffee as you wake up – nothing beats sleeping in your own bed.

Which begs the question; how does your sleep impact your relationship with your other half?

We are know how irritable we get when we don’t get enough of it and according to science, the lack of Zzz’s aren’t good for your love life either.

Cue the mad arguments, hypersensitivity and short-tempers.

In fact, sleep neurologist, sleep expert and author Christopher Winter explained how your brain changes when you don’t get enough shut-eye.

"Your brain’s ability to do things gets whittled down to: find food, urinate, get through the day,” he says.

So basically, you revert back to being a caveman – your brain switching into survival mode, which means you can forget sexy time, cuddling and anything else that requires more effort than a trip to the loo.

This means when it comes to bae and messing up – you won’t be quick to forgive and you can say things you mightn’t mean in the heat of your fatigue.

And sleep patterns are one thing psychotherapist, Heather Holly looks for when couples come to her.

“One of the first things I assess for as part of couples counselling are lifestyle factors. This includes the amount of sleep each person experiences on a nightly basis.”

“In many cases, we find a lack of sleep to be a contributing factor to relationship problems. More often than not, couples are oblivious to this issue” she added.

We all know that our sleep (and now relationships) often contend with our phone addictions and demanding lifestyles, which means we don’t usually get our eight hours of sleep.

But there are signs you need to watch out for, which indicate you’re suffering from sleep deprivation.

If you’re arguing more with your loved one, feeling resentful, or your enthusiasm and rapport are declining – it’s time to evaluate your sleep routine.

You could be damaging your relationship beyond repair – with the fun, wonderful aspects of your duo turning into what feels like a chore.

If you aren’t getting roughly eight hours of sleep – your body and mind won’t be functioning the way they're supposed to and you could find yourself single.

Your room is really important for a good night’s sleep, so make sure your mattress, the lighting and temperature are right – and throw your phone out of the room altogether – if you need an alarm, buy a clock.

If you can’t pinpoint the cause of your lack of shut-eye, talk to your doctor as there can be medical conditions which will disturb your sleep.

No one wants to be a grumpy b*tch or a caveman, so make sure you get a good night sleep, your body and bae will thank you for it.

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There’s one debate that has been dividing women for generations – bra on or bra off when it comes to sleep?

Some of us spend our evening commute dreaming of the moment we finally get to take the damn thing off while others can wear them for 24 hours straight and barely notice they’re there. (Sorry, but how?)

Either way, we finally have an answer to this age-old question.

According to Mia Talmor, a plastic surgeon at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, neither option is necessarily better than the other.

However, she did confirm that, contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence that wearing a bra to bed will prevent your boobs from sagging.

She told SELF: “Bras are designed to help with vertical positioning. But when you’re lying in bed, you need more horizontal support.”

However, if you still insist on wearing a bra while sleeping, it is important to get the fit just right.

Plastic surgeon, Matthew Schulman also spoke to SELF, and recommended women wear ‘’a supporting bra made of breathable fabric that does not have padding or underwire’’ while sleeping.

He warned of the possible effects wearing a tight fitting bra could have on your health:

‘Wearing a bra that is too tight can inhibit flow of lymphatic fluid, this can cause lymphedema (swelling) of the breasts, which can lead to pain and some temporary skin discoloration.’

And let’s be real, that doesn’t sound great.

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With winter quickly approaching, most families dread the onset of seasonal ills. From contracting the common cold to coming down with a serious case of the flu, there is nothing as frustrating as a blocked nose and a sore, scratchy throat when you’re trying to sleep during a long cold night.

Why does the air become so dry in the winter? When the cold winter weather sets in, we tend to crank up our heating system which causes overly dry indoor air. While your heater increases the temperature in your home, there is no moisture added to the air. As a result, the relative humidity drops considerably.

If you haven’t thought about the benefits of using a humidifier, here are five reasons why you should consider humidifying your household when the cold winter weather sets in.

 

1. Reduction in the Spread of Viruses

Unlike those old wives’ tales, there is research behind why you should keep your air moist. There was a time when doctors would suggest leaving windows open for those suffering from colds and flu. Although they didn’t have the science yet to prove it, we now know that influenza viruses hate moist air and are less likely to spread throughout the household if you use a humidifier. No, you don’t need to open a window to let the snow in, get a humidifier!

2. Relief from Sinusitis

While you may not come down with a cold or flu—sore, dry noses are prevalent in winter months. Most households are heated with dry heat and, as a result, many people suffer from what is called sinusitis. It’s simply an inflammation of the sinuses, but you can find a great deal of relief from a humidifier.

3. Hydrates Dry Skin

The same dry heat that causes an inflammation of the sinuses can create havoc on your skin. If you find that you suffer from dry skin, humidifying your household can bring you relief. Some people have reported that they can even cut back on the amount of moisturizer they apply during the winter because the moist air in their homes helps to protect their skin.

4. A Better Night’s Rest

As silly as this might sound, humidifiers can offer the benefit of improved sleep, especially if your partner is known for those loud snores that keep you from drifting off. Considering that humidifiers keep the air moist and moisture keeps the nasal passages clear, a humidifier just might offer the relief you are looking for.

5. Promotes Faster Healing

A humidifier can help reduce the symptoms of a common cold, influenza or even allergies.A humidifier keeps your nasal passages clear which helps speed up the healing process if you’re feeling under the weather. For people with bad allergies, there are even humidifiers which can help purify the air.

When all is said and done, keeping the home humidified in the winter months can truly be beneficial to your health. However, if you don't want to spend the money on a humidifier and would like to use natural solutions to combat dry air this winter, try these alternative ways to increase humidity at home.

Keep in mind, if you’re struggling to fight the dry air in your home, it is vital not to overuse your heating system, especially when a simple jumper may suffice. It will obviously take intervention on your part, but these are five very important reasons to use a humidifier during those long, cold winter months.

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There are few things we truly truly love in this world, but our beds are up there on the list along with our mammies and our dogs. 

Some of us are just emotionally attached to our leabas, and there is nothing wrong with that. 

Here's a few home truths that us bed lovers can totally relate to: 

8. There is nothing you can't do in bed.

And no, we don't mean that in a sexual way (or maybe we do, who knows?)

What we actually mean is, you could write a thesis, cook a four-course meal and raise your first born all from the comfort of your own bed if you had the opportunity. 

Image result for multitasking

7. Sometimes you like your bed more than the people you live with.

On that never-ending bus commute home from work, we're more likely to think longingly of seeing our comfy beds than seeing our parents/boyfriends/house mates.

Sorry, not sorry. 

Image result for love you funny celeb

6. Seeing your bed at the end of a long day brings a sense of euphoric joy.

We can only imagine that the feeling we get when we lay down on our beds is the feeling that most people have on their wedding days, no? 

 homer simpson season 4 episode 3 sleeping relaxed GIF

5. You spend an embarrassing amount of money on your bed.

Every time Penneys gets a new homeware collection, you're straight in there getting some new matching duvet sets, fluffy throws and decorative cushions.

Because it's important to invest in the things you love, right? 

Image result for wolf of wall street money

4. Going to bed early is the bomb.com

You cannot beat the feeling of snuggling up early in bed, knowing that you have the opportunity to get a good snooze or even spend an extra hour scrolling mindlessly through Instagram before hitting the hay.

Either way, you get to spend more time in leaba land so it's a win-win.

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3. Sometimes, you don't even want to go to sleep because then your time in bed will be over

Seriously, sometimes we dread the gentle lull of sleep because we know that then it will be all too soon time to wake up.

It's a conflicting glass case of emotion. 

Image result for kardashian crying

2. Getting up in the morning… we can't even. 

Leaving the toasty burrito of blankets that is bed in the mornings is torture.

If we could wear our duvets for the day, we would.  Don't try us. 

Image result for viktor and rolf

1. Waking up early on a Sunday morning…

…but lazing in bed for hours with tea, a book, the radio or a good movie is what we can only imagine heaven to be like. 

Seriously, don't even try to move us from our blanket nest. 

Image result for kim kardashian bed

 

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We've all been there – you eventually make it home after a big night out, snuggle into the covers and prepare yourself for the glorious lie-in that awaits, only to be rudely awoken by some kind of drunken mystic force at 8am. 

Maybe it's our bodies trying to get back at us? Or perhaps it's the universe trying to turn us into functional human beings? Either way, it's annoying AF and it's time to get to the bottom of it. 

Just like all out little bodily quirks, science has a big role to play. Speaking about the phenomenon, As Dr. Aaron White, a senior scientific advisor to the director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, explained to Buzzfeed: 

"Alcohol tricks you into thinking you're sleeping better because you pass out a little faster but it's actually very disrupting and prevents you from getting a restful, deep sleep."

So, not only does alcohol make you lose all inhibitions and convince you that you're more than able to flirt with the hunky man at the bar, it also completely messes with your sleeping pattern – Great! 

What's more, once the alcohol wears off in the middle of the night, our bodies enter into REM sleep, making it much easier to wake up. 

Fan-bloody-tastic! 

The only way to prevent this is to take it easy on the G&Ts and stop drinking a little earlier in the night. 

You win some, you lose some. 

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