Going to Sleep Late? Night Owls Face Higher Risks of Diseases

We all have a different body clock. Some of us are “morning people,” some are “evening people” or “night owls,” and most people fall right in the middle. Scientists call these different body clocks “chronotypes.” Unfortunately for night owls, or late chronotypes, a huge study indicates that going to bed late has serious health concerns!

Late chronotypes are rare. Most people have a normal sleep cycle, with an average night’s sleep taking place between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. (ugh!), give or take an hour. But real “night owls” have trouble falling asleep before the early hours of the morning and, to get a good night’s rest, wake up later than average. And yes, it’s a scientific fact that teenagers are late risers! In fact, our natural bedtime shifts earlier as we age. But if your internal clocks stays out of sync as you age, you’re out of luck.

Turns out that night owls have a 10 percent higher risk of early death. The study revealed greater rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, gastrointestinal problems, and psychological stress among late risers. Part of this is because late chronotypes are out of sync with society. School and work usually demands that we wake up early and start early. If your body clock doesn’t fit the rest of the world, you’re going to suffer from chronic sleep problems and stress. It’s like being jet-lagged all the time. This doesn’t mean an early death is inevitable for night owls, but it’s a significant problem. It might be time to respect people that have different sleep cycles, even teenagers, and listen to your body!