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Why 'early to bed, early to rise' is crucial for good health

ANI | Updated: Dec 01, 2018 14:31 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Dec 1 (ANI): If you are a night owl, then listen up! A recent study has found such people may have a higher risk of suffering from heart diseases and type 2 diabetes than early risers.
The findings of the Northumbria University have been reported in Advances in Nutrition.
In the first ever international review of studies analysing whether being an early riser or a night owl can influence your health, researchers have uncovered a growing body of evidence indicating an increased risk of ill health in people with an evening preference as they have more erratic eating patterns and consume more unhealthy foods.
The human body runs on a 24-hour cycle which is regulated by our internal clock, known as a circadian rhythm, or chronotype. This internal clock regulates many physical functions, such as telling you when to eat, sleep and wake. An individual's chronotype leads to people having a natural preference towards waking early or going to bed late.
The researchers found increasing evidence emerging from studies linking conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes to people with the evening chronotype - a natural preference for evenings.
People who go to bed later tend to have unhealthier diets, consuming more alcohol, sugars, caffeinated drinks and fast food than early risers. They consistently report more erratic eating patterns as they miss breakfast and eat later in the day. Their diet contains less grains, rye and vegetables and they eat fewer, but larger, meals. They also report higher levels of consumption of caffeinated beverages, sugar and snacks, than those with a morning preference, who eat slightly more fruit and vegetables per day. This potentially explains why night owls have a higher risk of suffering from chronic disease.
Eating late in the day was also found to be linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes because the circadian rhythm influences the way glucose is metabolised in in the body.
Glucose levels should naturally decline throughout the day and reach their lowest point at night. However, as night owls often eat shortly before bed, their glucose levels are increased when they are about to sleep. This could negatively affect metabolism as their body isn't following its normal biological process.
One study showed that people with an evening preference were 2.5 times more likely to have type 2 diabetes than those with a morning preference.
This also impacts on people who work shifts - particularly rotating shifts - as they are constantly adjusting their body clock to fit with their working hours. The researchers found that this reduces their sensitivity to insulin and affects their glucose tolerance, putting them at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes. (ANI)

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