Night Owl Health Risks

Night owls

GETTYNight owls are more likely to die earlier than their early to sleep counterparts

What we think might be happening is, there's a problem for the night owl who's trying to live in the morning lark world.

The researchers were able to study the health outcomes of 433,268 people from ages 38 to 73 using data from a cohort study called the UK Biobank Study. The researchers reached this conclusion after tracking about half a million adult people in the United Kingdom over the course of six and a half years.

Along with the 10% increased risk of death compared to definite morning types, the more people identified as evening people, the greater their risk for a variety of medical conditions.

Each increase from "morningness" to "eveningness" was associated with an increased risk for disease.

The night owl group, the team found, had a 10 per cent higher risk of dying than those in the extreme early-morning group. Their risk for respiratory disease was 23 percent higher and for gastrointestinal disease 22 percent higher.

The findings, described in the journal Chronobiology International, offer the first study linking mortality risk to night-owl sleep habits, according to the authors.

Professor Knutson said: '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. But overall, the tendency to feel more alert and alive in the morning or evening remains, no matter how much people try to change it.

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"You're not doomed", Knutson said.

"We should discuss allowing evening types to start and finish work later, where practical", he said in the statement. "If the body is expecting you to do something at a certain time like sleep or eat and you're doing it at the quote "wrong" time, then your body's physiology may not be working as well".

'And we need more research about how we can help evening types cope with the higher effort of keeping their body clock in synchrony with sun time.

The researchers said that genetics and environment contribute to a person being a morning or a night person, which means that night owls can work their way to becoming morning larks.

"It could be that people who are up late have an internal biological clock that doesn't match their external environment", Knutson said in a statement. "They shouldn't be forced up for an 8am shift". "Some people may be better suited to night shifts".

Professor von Schantz said pushing the clocks forward in countries that adopt daylight saving time - such as British Summer Time - has negative health effects.

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?"

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