- Women who classify themselves as “night people” have a higher risk of diabetes
- US researchers said this group is more likely to have unhealthy lifestyles
Being a “night owl” increases women’s risk of diabetes by almost a fifth, according to a new study.
Researchers have found that women who classify themselves as “night people” (they go to bed late and get up late) have a higher risk of disease compared to “morning people.”
Experts said this group is also more likely to have unhealthy lifestyles: drinking more alcohol and not getting enough exercise.
A team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston analyzed data from nearly 64,000 middle-aged nurses between 2009 and 2017.
This included self-reported sleep habits, diet, weight and BMI, sleep schedule, smoking, alcohol consumption, and physical activity.
Researchers have found that women who classify themselves as “night people” (they go to bed late and get up late) have a higher risk of this disease compared to “morning people.”
The researchers also examined medical records to see if the women had diabetes.
Of all participants, 11 percent reported having a defined nocturnal “chronotype,” also known as circadian preference.
Meanwhile, 35 percent said they definitely had a morning chronotype.
The rest were labeled as intermediates, meaning they did not identify as either morning or evening people.
The analysis revealed that a nocturnal chronotype was linked to a 19 percent increased risk of diabetes, the researchers said.
Study author Tianyi Huang said: “Chronotype, or circadian preference, refers to a person’s preferred sleep-wake schedule and is partly genetically determined, so it can be difficult to change.”
“People who think they are ‘night owls’ may need to pay more attention to their lifestyle because their nocturnal chronotype may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.”
Among study participants with healthier lifestyles, only 6 percent were night owls. However, among those with less healthy lifestyles, 25 percent preferred to go to bed late.
Nocturnal people were also more likely to drink alcohol in larger quantities, have a diet of low-quality foods, sleep fewer hours per night, currently smoke, and have weight, BMI, and physical activity rates in the unhealthy range, the team added. .
Dr Sina Kianersi, first author of the study, said: “When we controlled for unhealthy lifestyle habits, the strong association between chronotype and diabetes risk was reduced but still maintained, meaning that lifestyle factors of life explain a notable proportion of this association.
The link between nighttime chronotype and diabetes risk was stronger in nurses who worked day shifts compared to night shift workers, “suggesting that more personalized work scheduling may be beneficial,” the team added. .
Scientists now plan to investigate the genetic causes of chronotype and its relationship to heart disease.
Dr. Kianersi said, “If we are able to determine a causal relationship between chronotype and diabetes or other diseases, doctors could better tailor prevention strategies for their patients.”
The findings are published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.