Burning the midnight oil could be a fast-track to the grave. A new study published in the journal Chronobiology International has found night owls – people who prefer to stay up late – are more likely to die early than those who rise early, also known as larks.
In the study of over half a million people aged 30 to 73, people who identified themselves as “definite evening types” had a 10 per cent higher risk of dying over the next 6.5 years than people who said they were “definite morning types”.
Specifically, night owls were more likely to have health problems like diabetes, neurological problems and respiratory disorders.
But owls may not be wholly to blame for the alarming results, with the researchers speculating that modern society is slanted in larks’ favour.
“The health of evening types could be compromised by misalignment between their endogenous biological clocks and the timing of social activities,” the study authors say.
Spooked owls shouldn’t despair. You can turn things around by behaving more like your smug lark friends.
Keep a regular bedtime rather than bingeing on another episode of your favourite streaming show, book a morning workout to boost your exposure to natural light and get pressing chores done straight after work to ensure you hit the sack earlier, the researchers advise. If all else fails, marry a lark and hope she rubs off on you.