Will you rise at dawn to seize the day, or will you find yourself energized until late afternoon? Many of us claim to be early birds, night owls, or somewhere in the middle based on our personal preferences, energy levels, genetics, and even work schedules.
A recent study was published today in Annals of Internal Medicinesuggesting that early birds may not only catch the worm, but also have healthier lifestyle habits and a lower risk of diabetes.
“Our findings highlight the unique health risks that night owls face, particularly those related to diabetes, and why lifestyle habits play a role,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Sina Kianersi, a researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. plays an important role.” told wealth.
Night owls—referred to in studies as people with “defined nocturnal sleep patterns” who feel more energetic at night and tend to sleep later—through diet, exercise, smoking, drinking, and sleep habits.
“Night owls have been consistently found to have habits such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, lack of sleep or exercise… and poor diet,” Kianersi said. “We see this consistent pattern in the proposed results, and it’s not just chance or coincidence.”
The harmful health habits of night owls
Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School examined the health outcomes, lifestyle habits and sleep chronotypes of more than 63,000 nurses aged 45 to 62 over about eight years starting in 2009 . They had no health problems at the start of the study.
Research shows that night owls have a 72% increased risk of developing diabetes. The increased risk is also more pronounced for night owls who are not night shift workers. The authors explained that body mass index, physical activity level and diet had significant effects on the relationship between night owls and diabetes risk.
“We found that night owls are at increased risk for diabetes, largely because of their unhealthy habits,” Kinasi said.
However, Kianersi said 19 percent of the risk could be attributable to genetics, metabolism and other biological mechanisms, but more research is needed in this area. A study published last year suggested that night owls may be more susceptible to insulin resistance.
“These findings have public health implications…we can promote and develop targeted health interventions and targeted public health messages,” Kianersi said.
While trying to be an early bird can be difficult and require a doctor’s help, Kinasi says there are other ways to combat the health effects of being a night owl.
This means sleeping seven to nine hours a night, eating healthy, moving throughout the week, and not drinking too much.
“This is especially important for night owls,” Kinasi said. Medical Director of the Indiana Sleep Center, Expert at SleepFoundation.org, Sleep Healing: 7 Simple Steps to Better Sleepsaid before wealth.
Of note, a limitation of the study is the sample size, which consisted primarily of middle-aged white women of higher socioeconomic status.
“We need to be cautious when generalizing our findings,” Kinasi said. “We need more research in populations that are representative of our general population.”