For a study in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 68 people spent either six or eight hours in bed per night during their first two weeks on the antidepressant fluoxetine. The University of Michigan researchers used sleep-tracking devices to make sure participants were following the instructions. They reported their moods throughout the study, including for six additional weeks without the assigned sleep schedules.
The differences between the two groups were drastic: 63 percent of people who got eight hours of sleep per night saw symptom relief after two months, while only 33 percent of those in the six-hour group did. People who got more sleep also recovered more quickly.
This was the opposite of what the researchers expected. Previous research has found that spending more time in bed can make depression worse. To the contrary, it looks like combating depression or anxiety issues or other mental health challenges is yet another thing that’s easier when you’re getting a good night’s sleep.