Night Owls Beware: Late Risers Have Increased Risk Of Early Death

Night Owls Beware: Late Risers Have Increased Risk Of Early Death

Night owls are at higher risk of earlier death.

There are many other problems that come with being a night owl. "Make work shifts match peoples" chronotypes.

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.

More than a third of Brits identify as night people.

The study authors had earlier concluded that genetics and environment play approximately equal roles in whether we are a morning or a night type, or somewhere in between. "We should discuss allowing evening types to start and finish work later, where practical", von Schantz added.

The findings, described in the journal Chronobiology International, offer the first study linking mortality risk to night-owl sleep habits, according to the authors. They asked more than 433,000 participants between ages 38 and 73 years if they are a "definite morning type" a "moderate morning type" a "moderate evening type" or a "definite evening type". 35 percent as "more a morning person than an evening person", 28 percent as "more an evening than morning person" and 9 percent as "definitely an evening person". But even after accounting for these conditions, the study still found that evening people had a slightly higher risk of dying during the study period, compared with morning people.


One way to shift your behavior is to make sure you are exposed to light early in the morning but not at night, Knutson said. "This mismatch between their internal clock and their external world could lead to problems for their health over the long run, especially if their schedule is irregular". For instance, some studies have found that people with such "circadian misalignment" have impaired glucose metabolism and impaired mood.

The association was strongest for psychological disorders: Those who identified as "definite evening types" were almost twice as likely to report having a psychological illness than those who were "definite morning types", the study found.

Although the study did not look at the specific causes of death, research has suggested that night owls are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer such as prostate and breast cancer.

Those behind the research said society needed to wake up to the difficulties faced by night owls and called on employers to be more flexible towards staff who suffer when forced to clock in early.

'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.

"If we can recognize these chronotypes are, in part, genetically determined and not just a character flaw, jobs and work hours could have more flexibility for owls".

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