Being a night owl can be bad for your health

Being a night owl can be bad for your health

Night owls and morning people may also be on different health schedules, according to new research.

A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism looked at more than 1,600 men and women between 47 to 59 years old. Based on the study population, 480 were morning people and 95 were night owls.

Researchers measured the participants’ glucose tolerance, body composition and waist size, along with additional information about their overall health. By controlling these variables, the researchers found that compared to morning people, men who were identified as night owls were significantly more likely to have diabetes.

Similarly, women participants categorized as night owls were more than twice as likely to have metabolic syndrome.

According to American Heart Association, metabolic syndrome sometimes occurs when a patient has high blood pressure along with high fasting glucose levels and abdominal obesity.

Study leaders believe health can be negatively affected by the consumption of extra calories at night and the exposure to artificial lights.

But, experts say people can change their  habits.

Dr. Muhammad Hamadeh, pulmonologist at Advocate Christ Medical Center, says it’s possible to become a morning person.

He suggests shifting the circadian rhythm to an earlier time, which can be achieved by bright light therapy in the morning, taking melatonin in the evening to get to bed earlier, and Chrono therapy, which is advancing bedtime gradually.

“These individuals are generally more efficient,” says Dr. Hamadeh. “Since most activities occur in the morning when they are most alert and cognitive function is best.”

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One Comment

  1. Nope, sorry. That ‘expert’ is just plain wrong. It’s *not* that easy to become a morning person. All through every level of school right through grad school, I was NEVER good in the morning no matter how my circadian rhythm was adjusted. To this day, I have to set my clocks half an hour ahead and set my alarm to play music as well as an alarm well in advance of the time I actually have to get up — no matter how many hours of sleep I’ve had — in order to get to work in the morning on time. I also need a massive dose of caffeine first thing in the morning (like 24 oz. of coffee) to think clearly. When I was 100-percent freelance, however, and could set my own hours (as in rise several hours later), I was much more productive and needed less caffeine to get going. My best writing still happens after sunset and way into the wee hours. I’m over 40 now, and if I can’t readjust after more than two decades of adulthood, it’s not gonna happen, doc. Give it up.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.