Night owls likely to die earlier than morning larks, study reveals

Night owls

According to a study, if you are a "night owl", or like to stay up late and have trouble dragging yourself out of bed in the morning, you are at a higher risk of dying sooner than morning "larks", people who have a natural preference for going to bed early and rising with the Sun.

For the new study, which was published in the journal Chronobiology International on April 11, researchers tracked around 433,000 individuals over a period of 6.5 years, and found that people who identified themselves as "definitive evening type" had 10 percent higher risk of all-cause mortality compared with those who identified themselves as "definite morning types". In order to evaluate natural circadian rhythm, otherwise known as their chronotype, participants were asked to identify as "definitely a morning person", "more a morning person than evening person", "more an evening than a morning person" or "definitely an evening person".

The six-and-a-half-year study recorded just over 10,500 deaths among the studied.

He suggested a few ways society could help night owls.

"Night owls trying to live in a morning lark world may have health consequences for their bodies", said co-lead author Kristen Knutson, associate professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "There are a whole variety of unhealthy behaviours related to being up late in the dark by yourself", she said.

Heart disease
GETTYHeart and metabolic problems often result from poor sleeping behaviour

"It is a public health problem that cannot be ignored", said Malcolm von Schantz, a professor of chronobiology at Surrey University. "Mortality risk in evening types may be due to behavioural, psychological and physiological risk factors, many of which may be attributable to chronic misalignment between internal physiological timing and externally imposed timing of work and social activities".

Even more, passing towards the daylight saving time coincides with a higher incidence of heart attacks and for the late risers is more hard to adapt to the change, say the researchers.

In the new study, scientists found owls had higher rates of diabetes, psychological disorders and neurological disorders? He also argued that the study is heavily based on findings from white Britons. Generally, if people prefer to go to bed later and wake up later on days they don't have to work, they're probably suffering from at least some degree of social jetlag.

The study couldn't determine the reason for the link between being a night owl and the risk of early death.

She recommended avoiding light at night and working to get more exposure to it during the morning. Getting your boss to let you clock in to work later in the day could help, too. Does this mean that evening type people are doomed? "Part of it you don't have any control over, and part of it you might".

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