They exist, these people who saved the world three times before sunrise in "Tim Bendzko" manner. And there are those who are only really at operating temperature when others have long since been snoring into their pillows. Everyone has a different biorhythm that determines which sleep type we are, whether lark or owl, early riser or night owl.
This internal clock is difficult to turn. If you follow the results of a new study published in the journal "Chronobiology International", this is bad news, especially for the so-called night owls. In comparison, they have a nine percent higher risk of dying early. But that's not due to staying awake alone. It is much more what the owls do at night that gives the scientists cause for concern.
The Finnish researchers now wanted to get to the bottom of the question of the differences between morning and evening people and used data from a Finnish twin study from 2002. As part of this, almost 24,000 pairs of twins were scientifically monitored for 37 years.
Among other things, the focus was on lifestyles and their influence on health. At the beginning of the study, the participants also had to state whether they clearly or to some extent see themselves as a morning or evening person. In the follow-up study, the death dates of around 8700 of the study participants were examined and compared with factors such as education, sleep duration and alcohol and tobacco consumption.
"Our results suggest that chronotype makes little or no independent contribution to mortality," quotes The Telegraph study author Christer Hublin of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Medicine in Helsinki. There are many more habits that are practiced more at night that cut down on lifespan - such as smoking and drinking alcohol. If these factors are omitted, the owls live as long as larks.
Other studies had previously shown that late sleepers have an increased risk of death. In addition, as previous research also suggests, there is a higher risk of developing chronic diseases for this type of sleeper. In addition, night owls tend to attach problematic fatty tissue to the organs more than larks. This visceral body fat in the abdominal region is a risk factor for heart disease and type 2 diabetes (read more). Overall, according to research, people with the night owl chronotype are less active and also have less stamina.
The sleep hormone melatonin is released later in night owls than in early risers. As a result, they fall asleep later and also need longer during the day until they are fully productive. This could also explain why, among other things, early risers are generally shown to perform better at school. The internal clock of owls ticks differently than that of the average population. she is slower This leads to a kind of time delay.
The shifted rhythm can mean that those affected find it difficult to keep up in everyday life, for example to appear fit in the office in the morning. In such cases, doctors speak of sleep phase syndrome.
Source: Chronobiology International, Experimental Physiology, NIH 1, NIH 2, The Telegraph, Image of Science