Night Owls May Have 10 Percent Higher Risk of Early Death, Study Says

By Kristen Knutson, Northwestern University and Malcolm von Schantz, University of Surrey

Do you wake up bright eyed and bushy-tailed, greeting the sunrise with cheer and vigor? Or are you up late into the night and dread the sound of your alarm clock? We call this inherent tendency to prefer certain times of day your “chronotype” (chrono means time). And it may be more than a scheduling issue. It has consequences for your health, well-being and mortality.

Being a night owl has been associated with a range of health problems. For example, night owls have higher rates of obesity, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Night owls are also more likely to have unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, alcohol and drug use, and physical inactivity.

We study the health effects of being a night owl. In our recent study published in Chronobiology International, we found even worse news for the


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