Is Being a Night Owl Dangerous for Your Health?

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Recently, a new study regarding staying up late was published by the Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, together with the University of Surrey in the UK. According to it, night owls risk dying sooner than people who tend to wake up in the morning. Moreover, the findings reveal that people who go to bed late have higher rates of neurological and psychological disorders, as well as diabetes.

Worrying Findings

The study was based on almost half a million participants. The UK Biobank Study showed that night owl have a risk increased with 10% of dying, compared to morning people. As a matter of fact, the scientists used the data they had to analyze the owl behavior as well. Dr. Kristen Knutson is an associate professor of neurology, working at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She explained that night owl who tried to live in a morning lark had some serious health consequences.

Moreover, she added that people who stay up late might have an internal biological clock that is different than the external environment. This, in turn, leads to a vast array of unhealthy habits. Some of these are unhealthy eating, psychological stress, not getting enough sleep or exercise, and even drug or alcohol use.

Previous Research

There have also been some other studies related to this topic. However, they had focused on the high rates that appear in night owls for cardiovascular disease and metabolic dysfunction. However, the most recent study is the first one that focuses explicitly on the mortality risk. Malcolm von Schantz, who works as a professor of chronobiology in Surrey, explains that this is, in fact, a public health issue we can’t keep ignoring. As a solution, he said people should be discussing evening types to adjust their work schedule according to their internal clock, if possible.

Karen and her husband live on a plot of land in British Columbia. They aim to grow and raise a significant part of their food by maintaining a vegetable garden, keeping a flock of backyard chickens and foraging. They are also currently planning a move to a small cabin they hand built. Karen’s academic background in nutrition made her care deeply about real food and seek ways to obtain it. Thus sprung Anna’s interest in backyard gardening, chicken and goat keeping, recycling and self-sufficiency.


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