It seems the night really is darkest just before dawn for a lot of people, a new study suggests. It looks into what time of day people tend to feel their least and their most cheerful and finds 5 a.m. is when moods are lowest.

Researchers from the University of Michigan and Dartmouth Health analyzed the Fitbit data from 2,602 medical interns over two years.

  • They used the device’s results to monitor participants’ continuous heart rate, step count, sleep data and had interns rate their daily moods.
  • The team of scientists estimated the interns’ circadian time and awake time by measuring their heart rates and motion.
  • Based on all that, researchers determined that 5 a.m. is officially the worst time of day, based on mood, circadian clock and other factors.
  • On the flip side, people tend to be in the best mood at 5 p.m.

“Mood naturally cycles with lowest point in the morning and highest in the evening independent of sleep deprivation,” explains lead study author Benjamin Shapiro. “Sleep deprivation is a separate process that further decreases mood.” Senior study author Danny Forger adds, “We discovered that mood follows a rhythm connected to the body’s internal clock, and the clock’s influence increases as someone stays awake longer.”

Source: NY Post

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