Night owls have 'more health problems' than early birds


Some people will identify with being a morning person, while others say they're night owls. But as long as you're getting enough sleep, what does it matter, right? Well actually, no.

New research from Korea University College of Medicine suggests that those having later nights are more likely to develop diabetes, even if they have the same amount of sleep as the people who hit the hay earlier.

Scientists spoke to more than 1,600 people in their 40s and 50s about their sleeping habits, determining whether they stayed up late or not. The participants (both men and women) also had to submit blood samples and undergo scans of their body fat and bones.

It was found that although the night owls were younger, their health was also a lot worse. Their night-time routine disrupts their body clock and eating habits so much that it has a knock on effect to their health including more body fat and more unhealthy fats in their blood.

Men were found to be three times as likely to have diabetes and nearly four times the risk of sarcopenia, the degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass that impacts strength and mobility.

For females symptoms differed, with nocturnal ladies more likely to have pot bellies and suffer with metabolic syndrome, a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.

Results were published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Researcher Dr Nan Hee Kim said the explanation could lie in night owls' "tendency to have poorer sleep quality and to engage in unhealthy behaviours such as smoking, late-night eating and a sedentary lifestyle".

Being exposed to light late at night was one reason given for people staying up later.

However, previous research has found people who go to bed later to be cleverer and richer.

© Cover Media

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