It's not just the lack of sleep,
but your sleep patterns and routines too, influence and determine your health.
If you're a night owl, and tend to get your rest during the day, you may be
more prone to an increasing waistline, decreased fertility
and an elevated risk of cancer
Losing out on sleep
during the night could also make you more likely to demonstrate dark personality
traits such as deceitfulness and narcissism.
You've heard enough about the
importance of a good night's sleep to your health. A day without the forty
winks and you'll be low on energy, grumbly, lethargic and probably tempted to
indulge in unhealthy foods. A month like this, and your social life will go
down as well. Losing out on the much needed sleep
has also been associated with some major lifestyle diseases too.
A recent study conducted by a
team of researchers from Liverpool and Sydney revealed the link between dark
personalities and erratic sleeping habits. The researchers took in over 200
people and interviewed them about their sleeping patterns. Careful observation
revealed that night owls tended to be more selfish and were more likely to
steal sexual partners from others.
"Everything in the body - every
reaction, hormone, gene switching on and off - is governed by the internal
clock," Dr Tim Quinnell, Sleep Laboratory at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge,
explained. "And it's this clock that makes early types wake when they do, and
late types able to carry on into the night."
The researchers have also discovered
how an individual's sleep
patterns are affected by a gene-known as Period-3.
According to the study, there
exist two different forms of the gene-a long version and a short version.
Individuals having the shorter version of the gene are night owls, while those
having the longer version tend to be larks
"The larks have a sleep pressure
that builds up much more quickly. So as they go through a normal day, they get
more tired more quickly," Dr Simon Archer, University of Surrey, explained.
Owls, on the other hand, tend to
gobble up breakfast within half an hour of waking up, but also tend to overeat
during the evening, making them more prone to overeating and weight gain
Also, they tend to be more sleep deprived than the larks, as they cant
compromise with their work schedules.
A study also linked how the blood
glucose levels of 'owls' were bordering on diabetic and their hormone leptin
levels were down by 17 percent.
A few other studies demonstrated
how late sleepers were at a greater risk of suffering from certain cancers,
particularly cancer of the breast and colorectal cancer
and may have higher levels of stress hormone.
Furthermore, late night sleepers
are more likely to snore, have poorer memory and suffer from more pain and
inflammation than those sleeping early.
And yet, owls have a much better
and livelier love life than larks. Scientists speculate that this may have
something to do with the testosterone levels in men, which is linked to the
But wait... don't make any major changes yet. Scientists
claim that though sleep patterns are largely dependant on our genes, it alters
slowly with age. We become more lark-like as we grow older.