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British Lung Foundation
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Is being a night owl bad for your health?

Night owls may have a higher risk of suffering from heart disease and type 2 diabetes than early risers.

In the first ever international review of studies analysing whether being an early riser or a night owl can influence your health, researchers have uncovered a growing body of evidence indicating an increased risk of ill health in people with an evening preference as they have more erratic eating patterns and consume more unhealthy foods.

The human body runs on a 24-hour cycle which is regulated by our internal clock, which is known as a circadian rhythm, or chronotype. This internal clock regulates many physical functions, such as telling you when to eat, sleep and wake. An individual’s chronotype leads to people having a natural preference towards waking early or going to bed late.


5 Replies

Me again!! can I be the "exeption that proves the rule"? I have always been an early riser, and when I could work, got in an hour before the others, useful as the phone did not ring for that hour. When at College was the one who had her nose on the table before 10 at night, one alcoholic drink and I was asleep in the corner!! I have Crohn's Disease, Asthma and if I do not keep eagle eye on weight, my blood tests show borderline diabetic. Having looked at this I wonder what else I could have had, if I had been a Night Owl rather than a Lark. Love your researches, always informative ad useful.


Yes I totally see how that can be the case, it's quite difficult for those who work night shifts though I imagine.

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I already have type 2 diabetes. I am not obese. Yes I have trouble getting enough sleep so am always tired. Walking up coughing doesn’t help. I am over the chest infection according to a recent X-ray.

It seems Emphysema and other forms of COPD/chest problems go hand in hand with insomnia.



How does one change a lifetime habit though?


I am a night owl and always have been and other than the copd have been up to late 50's very healthy so an exception I hope - pity about the smoking though .....


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