According to a new study, those who prefer to stay up late and go to bed later are more likely to die young from the poor habits they pick up from being up late. This sleep chronotype is known as being a night owl.
Being a definitely “evening” person is connected with a higher risk of mortality. Which appears to be mostly explained by increased tobacco and alcohol use. The study’s first author, Christer Hublin, a researcher at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health in Helsinki. Stated in a statement, “This is compared to individuals who are obviously’morning’ people.
The study was a follow-up to the 2002 Finnish Twin Cohort study. And was released on Friday in the journal Chronobiology International. In an effort to elucidate the root causes of unhealthy behaviours and disease, the new study monitored nearly 24,000 twins from 1981 to 2018.
“A larger consumption of tobacco and alcohol appears to be mainly responsible for the increased risk of mortality associated with being a clearly “evening” person,” Hublin said in a statement. This is contrasted with those who are obviously “morning” people.
Why Do Night Owls Experience Greater Medical Issues?
Researchers are still trying to figure out why night owls seem to have greater health issues. It’s possible that staying up late gives you more chances to use drugs and drink. Being awake when everyone else is asleep might cause loneliness in some people and raise their risk of developing depression. Perhaps it has something to do with our biological clocks.
As previously mentioned, one crucial role of internal biological clocks is to predict when particular events, such as sunlight, sleep, and eating, will occur. Our actions should ideally fit both our internal and external clocks. What transpires if it doesn’t? We believe that a long-term “misalignment” between the timing of our internal clock and our behaviours may be harmful.
A night owl who tries to live in a world of morning larks will find it difficult. They may have to wake up early for work or their friends may want to eat dinner early, but they prefer later hours for eating, sleeping, and socialising. Long-term health issues could result from this mismatch.
Your Chronotype For Sleep
Everybody’s intrinsic 24-hour biological clock, or circadian rhythm, controls the hormone melatonin’s secretion to aid in sleep.
The thought-to-be-inherited personal sleep chronotype may dictate when that procedure takes place. If you naturally get up early, your circadian rhythm releases the energy-boosting hormone melatonin considerably earlier than usual, causing you to be most active in the morning.
The fact that early risers typically do better in school and are more active throughout the day may help to explain why studies have shown that they have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
However, the internal body clock of night owls secretes melatonin significantly later, delaying peak activity and alertness until later in the day, particularly in the afternoon and evening.
Your Chronotype Can You Change It?
To begin, turn on a lot of light as soon as the alarm goes off. If you can, use natural sunlight. If not, use artificial lighting, especially blue-spectrum lights, which signal the body to wake up.
Bright light serves as the circadian system’s strongest reset, according to Zed. Your circadian clock genes oscillate differently in the morning light, both at the cellular and molecular levels. You are also retraining all of your rhythms to be earlier, including sleep, blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol rhythm.
Zed advised you to make changes to your nighttime routine by turning off bright lights much earlier to encourage your body to start producing melatonin.
Therefore, avoid using smart devices, laptops, or televisions unless you have a filter that converts blue light to amber or reddish orange light, which doesn’t interfere with melatonin.
A further suggestion is to eat considerably earlier in the evening than you might desire. According to Zed, “my rule: Stop eating within three hours of bedtime.” Do your workout in the morning or early afternoon, and stay away from strenuous exercise in the evening.