A new study has testified to the famous proverb: 'Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise'. Researchers revealed that people who stay awake till late night are more likelier to develop diabetes, metabolic syndrome and sarcopenia than early risers, even when they get the same amount of sleep. Staying awake late at night is more likely to cause sleep loss, poor sleep quality, and eating at inappropriate times, which might eventually lead to metabolic change.
Researchers examined sleeping habits and metabolism in 1,620 participants in the population-based cohort Korean Genome Epidemiology Study (KoGES) for the difference between night and morning chronotypes, or a person's natural sleep-wake cycle. All the study subjects were between the ages of 47 and 59 years. Study participants responded to questionnaires about their sleep-wake cycle, sleep quality and lifestyle habits such as exercising. Based on the results of the questionnaire, 480 participants were classified as morning chronotypes, and 95 were categorized as evening chronotypes. The rest of the participants had a sleep-wake cycle between the two extremes.
Researchers found that even though the evening chronotypes tended to be younger, they had higher levels of body fat and triglycerides, or fats in the blood, than morning chronotypes. People who tend to stay up until late were also more likely to have sarcopenia, a condition where the body gradually loses muscle mass. Men who were evening chronotypes were more likely have diabetes than early risers. Among women, night owls tended to have more belly fat and a great risk of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors that raise the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Nan Hee Kim of Korea University College of Medicine said, "Regardless of lifestyle, people who stayed up late faced a higher risk of developing health problems like diabetes or reduced muscle mass than those who were early risers, which could be caused by night owls' tendency to have poorer sleep quality and to engage in unhealthy behaviors like smoking, late-night eating and a sedentary lifestyle. Considering many younger people are evening chronotypes, the metabolic risk associated with their circadian preference is an important health issue that needs to be addressed."
The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.