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Study Finds Regularly Staying Up Late Is Deadly

April 13, 2018

Are you more of an early bird or a night owl?  Believe it or not, how you answer this question could be a matter between life and death!  

A joint study conducted by Northwestern University and the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom found that "night owls" who regularly stay up well into the night far often have a higher mortality rate than those who go to bed earlier.  Specifically, those who regularly stayed up late had a 10% greater risk of dying than those who didn't.  Night owls also experienced a greater risk for developing conditions such as diabetes or other psychological disorders.  Kristen Knutson, associate professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and co-lead author on the study wrote, "Night owls trying to live in a morning lark world may have health consequences for their bodies."

Unfortunately, changing our lifestyle just might not be in the cards.  Whether you're a morning or night person can sometimes depend entirely on your genes.  Knutson wants to test next whether or not a morning person can convert to staying up late and vice versa, and if there's a change in their overall health.  She said "If we can recognize these chronotypes are, in part, genetically determined and not just a character flaw, jobs and work hours could have more flexibility for owls."