Morning People May Live Longer Than Night Owls

Young woman with insomnia cover her face with hand in bed

Over that lengthy sample period, night owls were approximately 10 percent more likely to die than their early-rising peers. According to him, "night owls" should benefit from greater flexibility in the job so that they can start and finish their work later.

The association was strongest for psychological disorders: Those who identified as "definite evening types" were almost twice as likely to report having a psychological illness than those who were "definite morning types", the study found.

The study, published Thursday in the journal Chronobiology International, tracked nearly half a million adults in the United Kingdom over an average of 6½ years. Besides, "night owls" have a more pronounced tendency to develop psychological disorders, suffer from diabetes, neurological issues, gastrointestinal or respiratory problems, and also show a tendency towards smoking, alcohol consumption, caffeine consumption, and drugs.

It's not a lack of sleep - both groups got about the same amount, Knutson and her colleague Malcolm von Schantz, a professor of chronobiology at the University of Surrey, reported in the journal Chronobiology International.

'And we need more research about how we can help evening types cope with the higher effort of keeping their body clock in synchrony with sun time.

Because of that, researchers think that allowing people to have more flexible schedules that fit their internal body clocks could improve their health.

About a quarter of folks identified themselves as morning larks, and about 9 percent said they were definitely night owls, Knutson said.

It should be noted that this study was done on a 94-percent-Caucasian population, so there is still much more research to be done to fully understand the differences between preferred sleep times. This is what defines night owls, larks - morning people - and those who fall in between, and this rhythm has a significant effect on how our bodies function. "You're not doomed", Knutson said.

As for why night owls seem to naturally stay up later, it's hard to pin down any one reason. "Part of it you dont have any control over and part of it you might".

"If you looked in Spain, where people are much later in terms of when they go to work", he told CNN, "my guess is that the health consequences are probably less than in the United Kingdom".

"They shouldn't be forced to get up for an 8.00 am shift". Make work shifts match peoples' chronotypes.

'And we have to remember that even a small additional risk is multiplied by more than 1.3 billion people who experience this shift every year.

"You can't just suddenly go to bed three hours earlier tonight because it won't work", Knutson said.

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