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    Scientists have discovered the worst time of day

    It appears that the night is really darkest just before dawn: Scientists have discovered that 5 a.m. is officially the worst time of day, based on mood, circadian clock, and other factors, per a depressing study published in the “PLOS Digital Health Journal.”

    Researchers from the University of Michigan and Dartmouth Health discovered that this satanic sixty minutes is when people reported their lowest mood regardless of when they got up.

    By contrast, 5 p.m. is when the majority of people are at their cheeriest, per the study.

    “Mood naturally cycles with lowest point in the morning and highest in the evening independent of sleep deprivation,” explained Benjamin Shapiro, lead author of the study and psychiatrist at Dartmouth Health.

    Scientists have discovered the official the worst time of day, based on mood, circadian clock, and other factors, per a depressing study published in the “PLOS Digital Health Journal.” crizzystudio – stock.adobe.com
    “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,” said senior author Danny Forger, who teaches mathematics at the U-M Medical School. Lategan/peopleimages.com – stock.adobe.com

    He and his team arrived at this conclusion by analyzing the Fitbit data from 2,602 medical interns over the course of two years.

    They used his wearable health tracking device’s results to gauge the participants’ continuous heart rate, step count, sleep data and daily mood scores.

    Meanwhile, measuring the interns’ heart rates and motion allowed scientists to estimate their circadian time as well as their time awake.

    “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,” said senior author Danny Forger, who teaches mathematics at the U-M Medical School.

    A graph showcasing how long the study participants’ were awake. PLOS

    In conjunction with the Fitbit analysis, researchers would also periodically ask students to rate their mood on a scale from one to 10.

    Researchers discovered that, along with the aforementioned time-mood correlation, participants’ moods would worsen the longer they were awake.

    “Sleep deprivation is a separate process that further decreases mood,” explained Shapiro. “So someone awake all night at 5 a.m. should have an even lower mood than if they just woke up at 5 a.m.

    He added, “However, on a typical day their mood at 5 a.m. will still be lower than that in the evening.”

    No word as to how the recent Daylight Savings Time changeover impacts the hours of these psychological peaks and valleys.

    Of course, this study is not without its caveats, namely that the team analyzed a fairly small sample in an artificial laboratory setting. This may not accurately reflect the complexity and nuance of mood variation, and how it’s affected by factors such as social dynamics, schedules and temperaments, per the study.

    For instance, researchers noted that several outlier participants’ stayed awake for more than 18 hours during the day.

    Nonetheless, scientists believe the study demonstrates how a non-invasive digital tool like Fitbit can be used effectively in a clinical setting.

    Forger, for one, feels that it “introduces wearable technology as an exciting new way to explore these factors in mental health issues.”

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