For individuals who consider themselves night owls, a recent study brings to light some alarming health concerns. Researchers in medicine have shown that persons who often stay up late have a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes. Their nocturnal tendencies, combined with a potentially unhealthy lifestyle, put them at greater risk than their early-rising counterparts.
According to this study’s findings, which were reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine, night owls tend to have unhealthy eating habits, little physical activity, an elevated body mass index, less sleep, and a propensity for smoking. The study’s findings also indicated that night owls have an examination of over 60,000 female nurses. The risk of diabetes is elevated by 19% as a result of this combination.
Senior author Tianyi Huang, who is connected to the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and the Harvard Medical School, stressed the importance of these findings by claiming. “A 19% increased risk, after adjusting for other factors, is a strong risk factor.”
The inclination to be active at night might feel natural for many. However, the research refutes claims of nocturnal energy and underscores its potential adverse impacts on the body.
Huang suggests that being a night owl can become problematic when an individual’s natural chronotype (or internal body clock) conflicts with societal schedules, like the conventional workday. Many night owls, despite sleeping late, need to rise early for their professional obligations. Interestingly, the study found that among those with an evening chronotype doing night shifts. There wasn’t an increased risk of diabetes.
Even while night owls can’t alter their work hours, Marie-Pierre St-Onge, from Columbia University’s Center of Excellence for Sleep and Circadian Research. Promotes a balanced lifestyle and claims that keeping a nutritious diet, enough sleep, and physical activity can reduce certain hazards. Life events might temporarily shift a night owl’s routine, but St Onge mentions, “they tend to revert back.”
She further delves into the evolutionary perspective, noting that some individuals might have developed evening chrono types out of the necessity for vigilance during night time, ensuring safety around the clock.
However, not all experts entirely agree. Dr. James McGuirk, a sleep specialist, believes that while the study is captivating. It doesn’t conclusively prove that an evening chronotype directly results in an increased diabetes risk. Additionally, he brought up the research’s apparent limitation, its predominant emphasis on white women.
While the innate nature of being a night owl can be challenging to alter. Especially if influenced strongly by genetics, being aware and making informed health choices can go a long way in ensuring well-being.