Launched by a group of experts at the University of Colorado at Boulder, more than 800,000 participants were included in the study.
“This 2-sample mendelian randomization study used summary-level genetic associations with diurnal preference and major depressive disorder (MDD),” according to the research group.
“Up to 340 genetic loci associated with diurnal preference in a meta-analysis of the UK Biobank and 23andMe cohorts were considered as genetic proxies for diurnal preference.”
The findings suggest that sleep timing patterns can be contributing factor in the onset of a depressive disorder, warranting further research as part of randomized clinical trials of sleep interventions.
“The results of this mendelian randomization study support a protective association of earlier diurnal preference with risk of MDD and provide estimates contextualized to an objective sleep timing measure. Further investigation in the form of randomized clinical trials may be warranted,” the research team concluded.