Night owls face health risks, study reveals

Research based on 500,000 people found they had a higher chance of death over the six-and-a-half year period they were being studied

For definite night owls, the solution remains to be seen, the researchers said.

Researchers gathered the data of almost half a million United Kingdom residents aged between 38 and 73 and followed the participants for more than 6 years.

Deaths in the group - just over 10,500 in total - were documented over the 61/2-year study period. These include cardiovascular disease, higher rates of obesity and smoking, psychiatric disorders, and an overall 10% increased risk for death, according to a study newly published in the journal Chronobiology International.

Researchers tracked nearly half a million adults in the United Kingdom over six and a half years, and found that the people who identified as "definite evening types" at the start of the study had a 10% higher chance of all-cause mortality compared with those who said they were "definite morning types", the BBC reports.

Researchers pulled data from the massive U.K. Biobank study, that between 2006 and 2010 looked at risk factors of major diseases for adults between the ages of 37 and 73. These night owls also were found to have a higher risk of developing diabetes, and psychological and neurological disorders.

"Night owls trying to live in a morning lark world may have health consequences for their bodies", said co-lead author Kristen Knutson, associate professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

The study also found that night owls have a higher risk for a variety of physical and mental ailments.

"Whether or not you're a night owl is partly determined by your genes, which obviously you can't change, but it's not entirely a given", Knutson said.

But regardless of the reason for the link, people may have some control over whether they are morning or evening people, the researchers said.

IPL2018 Dhawan's Fifty Powers SRH to 9 Wicket Win Over Rajasthan Royals
On the eve of the match, Mumbai underwent two training sessions leading into the clash, one in the afternoon and one under lights. He will hope to perform well in the rest of the tournament and get the selectors to notice his performances.

He added that staying up late isn't inherently bad - it's only when you combine it with a society that pushes people to wake up early.

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. "They shouldn't be forced up for an 8am shift".

One way to shift the behaviour is to ensure the exposure to light early in the morning but not at night, Knutson said.

"The mismatch between their internal biological clock and their behavior and environment is problematic, especially in the long run", Knutson said.

Being a night owl was associated with psychological stress, eating at the wrong time, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, and drug or alcohol use.

Professor von Schantz said pushing the clocks forward in countries that adopt daylight saving time - such as British Summer Time - has negative health effects.

More than 430,000 people were studied in the research.

'I think we need to seriously consider whether the suggested benefits outweigh these risks'.

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