Medicine

Night owls face health risks, study reveals

Night owls face health risks, study reveals

According to a new study, which the journal Chronobiology International recently published, this might bring with it diabetes, psychological issues and most importantly, an increased risk of early death. Some older studies have also shown that people who tend to go late to bed have a lot more problems, including heart disease and diabetes.

Dr Kristen Knutson from Northwestern University in Chicago, said: 'Night owls trying to live in a morning lark world may have health consequences for their bodies.

Most researchers agree that a large part of what defines your chronotype is genetic - both whether you are more of a morning person or night person and how much you have the ability to shift that "preference".

Jamie Zeitzer, an associate psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford who was not involved with the study, told CNN that these results are "just one piece of the puzzle", Zeitzer told the outlet that she hoped the findings would have been more robust, and asked the question "So, are people going to be at their correct time?"

Night owls have higher risk of early death than'morning larks. Credit
Night owls have higher risk of early death than'morning larks. Credit

"You're not doomed", Knutson said. Everything from work time to meal time occurs at a time that doesn't feel right for night owls, a state that researchers call "social jetlag". Earlier studies have already found higher rates of metabolic problems and cardiovascular diseases in people who are active at night. Many of these effects may be attributable to a misalignment between a person's internal clock, or circadian rhythm, and the socially imposed timing of work and other activities, the researchers said. The researchers found that those people who identified as "definite evening types" at the beginning of the study had a 10% increased risk of all-cause mortality compared with "definite morning types". "That not only makes it hard to fall asleep; it's also a signal to your clock to start being later again".

While pointing to an increased mortality rate for those who stay up late and struggle in the morning, researchers did not dive deep into the reasons for increased early death risks.

More than a third of Brits identify as night people.

That will be up to future research to find out, the scientists said. "It's strong in that it's a big sample of almost half a million people, but it is mainly Caucasians of Irish or English descent". Do things earlier and be less of an evening person as much as you can.

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Knutson and colleagues also said that the society can help.

"An important message here is for night owls to realize that they have these potential health problems and therefore need to be more vigilant about maintaining a healthy lifestyle", Knutson added.

"It could be psychological stress, eating at the wrong time for their body, not exercising enough, not sleeping enough, being awake at night by yourself, maybe drug or alcohol use", Knutson said.

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