Late Risers May Die Sooner, Study Finds

Late Risers May Die Sooner, Study Finds

The researchers were able to study the health outcomes of 433,268 people from ages 38 to 73 using data from a cohort study called the UK Biobank Study. After controlling for factors such as age, sex, ethnicity, body mass index, smoking status and sleep duration, the researchers found that those who identified as "definite evening types" had a 10% increased risk of dying during the followup period compared with those who identified as "definite morning types". 35 percent as "more a morning person than an evening person", 28 percent as "more an evening than morning person" and 9 percent as "definitely an evening person".

Out of the 10,500 deaths recorded in the participants, 2,127 had cardiovascular causes.

"This is a public health issue that can no longer be ignored", said study co-author Malcolm van Schantz of the University of Surrey, arguing that "night types" should be allowed to start and finish work later in the day.

He suggested a few ways society could help night owls. "We think the problem is really when the night owl tries to live in a morning-lark world", study author Kristen Knutson of Northwestern University tells the Los Angeles Times.

The study found that night owls have higher rates of diabetes, mental problems and neurobiological conditions. Teenagers tend to naturally have later chronotypes (body clocks shift throughout life and most teens are night owls), and a growing body of research has shown that shifting school start times later improves school performance.

In conclusion, the study concluded that late risers and "night owls" present increased risks of premature death by 10%.

There wasn't much difference among people who fell in the middle.

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"If the body is expecting you to do something at a certain time like sleep or eat and you're doing it at the quote "wrong time" then your body's physiology may not be working as well", she explains.

Research based on 50,000 people in the United Kingdom found they had the higher chance of death over the six-and-a-half year period they were being studied.

"If we can recognize these chronotypes are‚ in part‚ genetically determined and not just a character flaw‚ jobs and work hours could have more flexibility for owls‚" she said. Knutson said that "you're not doomed".

In future research, Knutson and colleagues want to test an intervention with owls to get them to shift their body clocks to adapt to an earlier schedule.

Knutson and Von Schantz looked at how people answered the early bird question. They sorted people by whether they were definite morning types (aka "morning larks"), definite evening types, moderate morning types or moderate evening types.

Most researchers agree that a large part of what defines your chronotype is genetic - both whether you are more of a morning person or night person and how much you have the ability to shift that "preference".

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