Night owls and early death rates

Night owls have higher risk of dying sooner

"Some people may be better suited to night shifts", Knutson added. They were asked to identify as a "definite morning type" a "more a morning person than evening person", "moderate evening type" or a "definite an evening person".

Deaths in the sample were tracked up to six and half years later.

The study was published Thursday, April 12 in the Chronobiology International journal.

Researchers from the Northwestern University in Chicago have found "night owls" are more at risk of dying than "larks" who turn in early.

"This first report of increased mortality in evening types is consistent with previous reports of increased levels of cardiometabolic risk factors in this group", the study reads. Night owls were almost twice as likely as early risers to have a psychological disorder and 30 percent more likely to have diabetes.

Night owls were also more likely to have diabetes, neurological disorders, psychological disorders, gastrointestinal disorders and respiratory disorders, according to Kristen Knutson, associate professor of neurology at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine and a leading author of the study.

Society should wake up to the real difficulties faced by night owls, said the researchers.

"They shouldn't be forced to get up for an 8 a.m. shift".

"It is a public health problem that cannot be ignored", said Malcolm von Schantz, a professor of chronobiology at Surrey University.

"It could be that people who are up late have an internal biological clock that doesn't match their external environment", Knutson told the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

"You're not doomed. Part of it you don't have any control over, and part of it you might."

"We should discuss allowing evening types to start and finish work later, where practical". Participants in the initiative, which took place from 2006 to 2010, defined themselves as either a "morning person" or "evening person".

A combination of genetics and environment can play a role in whether someone is a morning or night person, according to the researchers, and a person's preference for staying up late could be due to a variety of reasons.

Even more, passing towards the daylight saving time coincides with a higher incidence of heart attacks and for the late risers is more hard to adapt to the change, say the researchers.

"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", Knutson said.

More than a third of Brits identify as night people.

"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. Make work shifts match peoples' chronotypes.



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