Night owls more at risk of early death

Evening Telegraph (First Edition) - - Uk World Today -

NOC­TUR­NAL “night owls” are more at risk of dy­ing than “larks” who turn in early and leap out of bed when the sun rises, new re­search has shown.

Sci­en­tists who stud­ied a pop­u­la­tion of nearly half a mil­lion Bri­tons found over a six-year pe­riod, those who stay up late but strug­gle to drag them­selves out of bed in the morn­ing had a 10% greater risk of death than early ris­ers.

The dif­fer­ence held true even af­ter ad­just­ing for ex­pected health prob­lems in owls, such as metabolic dys­func­tion and heart dis­ease.

So­ci­ety should wake up to the real dif­fi­cul­ties faced by night owls, said the re­searchers. They called on em­ploy­ers to be more flex­i­ble to­wards staff who suf­fer when forced to clock in early.

Dr Kris­ten Knut­son, from North­west­ern Univer­sity in Chicago, US, said: “Night owls try­ing to live in a morn­ing lark world may have health con­se­quences for their bod­ies.

“They shouldn’t be forced to get up for an 8am shift. Make work shifts match peo­ple’s chrono­types. Some peo­ple may be bet­ter suited to night shifts.”

The study found higher rates of di­a­betes, men­tal dis­or­ders and neu­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tions among night owls. Larks are bet­ter able to ad­just their body clocks to the light and dark rhythms of the ris­ing and set­ting sun.

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