Being a night owl may mean you’re able to catch up on the latest episodes of your favourite shows, but it is also putting you at risk of a multitude of health problems, new research suggests.
People who are late to sleep and late to rise have a higher risk of developing serious health issues, regardless of how many hours of sleep they get, according to a study by researchers in Korea.
For the study, researchers assessed 1,620 participants aged between 47 and 59 years. The study participants were categorized based on their sleep and wake patterns. There were those who both go to bed early and wake up early, known as “morning chronotypes.” The people classified as “evening chronotypes” were those who went to bed late and got up late, and the final group was those who did not have a set pattern and fell somewhere in between the previous two groups.
The researchers compared the health of the different groups and found that differences in both the gender and the sleep pattern of people were factors in the study’s results. They discovered that the “evening chronotypes,” or night owls, had a higher percentage of body fat and higher levels of blood triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood.)
Sleep or wakefulness disorders affect an estimated 50-70 million adults in the US, according to the Institute of Medicine. These conditions can include insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, sleep walking, restless legs syndrome and more.