Night owls tend to die sooner than morning larks

Night owls

The study appears in the journal Chronobiology International.

"It could be that people who are up late have an internal biological clock that doesn't match their external environment", Knutson said in a statement.

The study, conducted by Northwestern Medicine and the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom, took a look at 433,268 participants, ages 38 to 73 years old, for about 6½ years, according to a news release.

Moreover, evening people were at a higher risk for conditions like diabetes, psychological and neurological disorders - plus certain types of respiratory and gastrointestinal/abdominal issues.

Studies indicate that switches to and from daylight savings time can raise the immediate risk of death over the following days, and others show the health risks of shift work.

She said they should try to be disciplined about bed-times and get jobs done early in the day rather than leaving them until late, she said.

"We found that the night owls had a 10 percent increased risk of dying over about a six and a half year period".

Twenty-seven percent of the participants defined themselves as either "definitely a morning person", 35 percent said they are "more a morning person than evening person", 28 percent were "more an evening than a morning person" and 9 percent were "definitely an evening person".

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"This first report of increased mortality in evening types is consistent with previous reports of increased levels of cardiometabolic risk factors in this group", the study reads.

"These findings suggest the need for researching possible interventions aimed at either modifying circadian rhythms in individuals or at allowing evening types greater working hour flexibility". Bottom line: Night people are 10% more likely to live a shorter life thank larks are.

Dr Knutson added: "You're not doomed".

Knutson recommends gradually going to bed a little earlier each night.

People in the late-night group were more likely to suffer from psychological disorders, diabetes, and stomach and breathing troubles, and they slept fewer hours per night. "Part of it you dont have any control over and part of it you might". Scientists said the difference held true even after adjusting for expected health problems in night owls, such as metabolic dysfunction and heart disease.

The switch to daylight savings or summer time is already known to be much more hard for evening types than for morning types.

For instance, stress, diet, isolation and drug and alcohol use are all known to contribute to ill-health and may be responsible for the different medical outcomes for morning and evening types.

They're investigating whether bright light therapy in the morning, or melatonin in the evening, might be able to shift our chronotype, possibly improving health outcomes.

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