A study conducted by a group of Korean scientists has discovered that night owls are more likely to have certain metabolic-related health problems, reported the New York Times. Korean researchers studied 1,620 men and women aged 47-59 and administered a questionnaire to establish whether they were morning or evening people.
They ascertained 480 to be morning types, 95 night owls and 1,045 in neither camp. The subjects were measured for glucose tolerance, body compositions and waist size as well as other health and behavioural characteristics.
Male night owls were found to have a higher propensity for diabetes and sarcopenia (muscle loss with ageing) and female night owls were associated with metabolic syndrome – high blood sugar levels, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal lipid readings.
The lead author of the study, Dr Nan Hee Kim, said a person’s circadian rhythm “can be modified by external cues such as light, activity and eating behaviour. But it isn’t known if this would improve the metabolic outcomes.”
The scientists believe the correlation between night owls and metabolic abnormalities is the higher consumption of calories after 8pm and exposure to artificial light at night.
The test to determine whether one is a night owl include questions of how alert and hungry you feel in the morning, your reliance on an alarm clocks versus your internal clock, and your tiredness at 10pm.
However, if you want to become one of those people that jumps out of bed at the crack of dawn, there is still hope for all you night owls. The best tips for becoming a morning person include creating a routine that involves getting up at the same time every morning, stopping pressing the snooze button and getting moving quickly after waking, or working out in the morning.
Other tips include removing screens from the bedroom and creating the right nighttime routine such as reading or drinking sleepy tea like chamomile before hitting the hay. It is also important to listen to your body – go to bed when you’re tired regardless of the time and try to expose yourself to natural light in the morning.
Getting a healthy dose of sleep and waking early not only helps encourage better metabolic health, it also increases memory consolidation, heightens mood and concentration and lowers blood pressure and stress levels.
So get yourself into a healthier sleep pattern and start reaping the benefits today!
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