Staying Up Late Could Affect Your Health

Most of us like to categorise ourselves as either night owls or early birds, depending on our preferred sleep/wake habits. While you might think that a regimented routine of sleeping later and rising later is all par the course of a normal, busy lifestyle, research shows that it actually has implications for your physical health, as well as the rest of your daily routine.

According to study carried out by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, participants who categorised themselves as night owls, or as having a daily pattern of later sleep and wake times, were 19% more at risk of developing diabetes than those who identified as early birds.

That said, because a person’s chronotype, or favoured sleep/wake preference, is partially genetic and not often easy to change, the increased risk means looking at all lifestyle factors as well as sleep routines. The study also found worrying news amongst those who identified as night owls or having evening chronotypes; according to the study results this group were found to be more likely to drink more alcohol, have a lower quality food diet, get less hours of sleep per night and not partake in as much physical activity as morning chronotypes.

If you’re a night owl who finds it hard to shift their sleep patterns, ensuring you eat a healthy diet, partake in regular exercise and limit your alcohol usage is key if you want to maintain optimum health and reduce your risk of chronic illness.