Posted on Leave a comment

Study Indicates that Night Owls’ Unhealthy Habits May Be Linked to Type 2 Diabetes

A new study suggests that night owls, individuals with a preference for staying up late and sleeping in, maybe at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and adopting unhealthy lifestyle habits. The study followed nearly 64,000 nurses over an eight-year period and made several key findings:

  1. Increased Diabetes Risk: Night owls had a 72% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to early birds.
  2. Unhealthy Habits: Night owls were more likely to have unhealthy behaviors, including poor dietary choices, less physical activity, higher alcohol consumption, unhealthy BMI, smoking, and irregular sleep patterns (either too much or too little sleep).
  3. Lifestyle Factors: When the study factored out these unhealthy habits, the risk of night owls developing type 2 diabetes dropped to a 19% increase compared to early birds.
  4. Genetic Predisposition: There might be a genetic predisposition that contributes to both the preference for evening activity and the risk of diabetes, even when lifestyle factors are controlled.

The study suggests that individuals with a preference for evening activities should be aware of these risks and take steps to moderate their alcohol use, eliminate smoking, increase physical activity, get sufficient sleep, and manage these risks as best as they can.

The research also highlights the importance of maintaining a consistent circadian rhythm, as disruptions to the body’s internal clock can lead to metabolic changes and increase the risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes. Personal sleep chronotypes, whether early bird or night owl, are influenced by both genetics and environmental factors but can be modified to some extent.

Additionally, the study found that matching work hours to an individual’s chronotype could be beneficial in reducing the risk of diabetes. Night owls who worked during the day were at a higher risk than those with schedules aligned to their preference.

This study reinforces the idea that lifestyle plays a significant role in diabetes risk but also acknowledges the influence of genetic factors and the importance of maintaining a healthy circadian rhythm.