Night owls 'more likely to die early'

Night owls at greater risk of dying sooner Study

Sorry night owls, we have bad news for you. The researchers noticed that the risks of premature death are by 10% higher than those who have a normal sleeping pattern.

"It could be that people who are up late have an internal biological clock that doesn't match their external environment", said co-lead author Kristen Knutson in a statement.

This is an incredibly large group of people to study and this is the first time a population has been studied with the intention of assessing how chronotype affects mortality from the start.

The study looked at medical data from about 433,000 people ages 38 to 73 living in the United Kingdom over a 6.5-year study period. As part of the Biobank research, people were asked to either identify as a morning or evening person from four options. 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".

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In the new study, scientists found owls had higher rates of diabetes, psychological disorders and neurological disorders.

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. "Are there specific psychological phenomena that are more or less related to chronotype, especially the disparity between your chronotype preferred timing and the actual timing of sleep?"

Although the reasons for their increased mortality remain unclear, she said, "Night owls should know that there may be some health consequences". He also argued that the study is heavily based on findings from white Britons.

According to Knutson, a person's chronotype is probably a mixture of inherited and environmental factors. You can't suddenly tonight just go to bed three hours earlier. Getting your boss to let you clock in to work later in the day could help, too.

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They called on employers to be more flexible towards staff who suffer when forced to clock in early.

"You can find a job that starts later, but that's not a particularly useful piece of advice for a lot of people", Zeitzer said. This was in comparison with the people identifying as "definite morning types". "Some people may be better suited to night shifts", Knutson added. Make work shifts match peoples' chronotypes.

Chronotype was also measured based on self-reports rather than objective measures, one of the study's main limitations, according to Knutson.

"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", she explains.

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