‘Night Owls’ Are at Higher Risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease than’ Early Birds’

Drinking coffee. Man working in office alone during COVID-19 quarantine, staying to late night. Young businessman, manager doing tasks with smartphone, laptop, tablet in empty workspace.A new study has found that people who are ‘night owls’ are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease than those who are ‘early birds.’ So, if you tend to go to bed late and wake up later in the morning, make sure to be extra vigilant about your health. Start by making healthy lifestyle choices and seeing your doctor for regular check-ups. You may also want to consider talking to them about whether it’s safe for you to take a sleep medication prescribed by them. Getting good sleep is essential for overall health, so make it a priority!

The research published in Experimental Physiology suggests that the wake/sleep cycle may cause metabolic differences and alter the body’s preference for energy sources. These metabolic differences affect how well the body can use insulin to promote glucose uptake by the cells for storage and energy use.


For the study, researchers from Rutgers University split participants into two groups based on their “chronotype”—the natural propensity to seek activity and sleep at different times. Advanced imaging was used to assess body mass and composition, breath samples, and insulin sensitivity to measure fat and carbohydrate metabolism.

It was found that people who are more active in the morning tend to rely more on fat as an energy source and are more active during the day. They also tend to have higher aerobic fitness levels than people who prefer to be more active later in the day and at night. It was also noted that night owls use less fat for energy at rest and during exercise.

Researchers believe these findings suggest that ‘night owls’ may have a reduced
ability to use fat for energy, meaning fats may build up in the body and increase the risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Senior author Professor Steven Malin said, “The differences in fat metabolism between ‘early birds’ and ‘night owls’ shows that our body’s circadian rhythm (wake/sleep cycle) could affect how our bodies use insulin. A sensitive or impaired ability to respond to the insulin hormone has major implications for our health. This observation advances our understanding of how our body’s circadian rhythms impact our health. Because chronotype appears to impact our metabolism and hormone action, we suggest that chronotype could be used as a factor to predict an individual’s disease risk.”

This research helps show the relationship between the body’s circadian rhythm and risk of disease, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. This adds to mounting evidence that suggests how vital it is for optimal sleep and restfulness.

Sleep, Blood Sugar, and Cardiovascular Health


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Author Bio

Sarah began her interest in nutritional healing at an early age. After going through health problems and becoming frustrated with the conventional ways doctors wanted to treat her illness (which were not working), she took it upon herself to find alternative treatments. This led her to revolutionize her own diet to help her get healthier and tackle her health problems. She began treating her illness by living a more balanced lifestyle through healthy food choices, exercise and other alternative medicine such as meditation. This total positive lifestyle change led her to earn a diploma in Nutritional Therapy from Health Sciences Academy in London, England. Today, Sarah enjoys helping others by teaching healthy lifestyle changes through her personal consultations and with her regular contributions to the Doctors Health Press. Also, passionate about following her dreams in life, Sarah moved to France and lived in Paris for over 5 years where she earned a certification in beadwork and embroidery from Lesage (an atelier owned by Chanel). She then went on to be a familiar face sitting front row and reporting from Paris Fashion Week. Sarah continues to practice some of the cultural ways of life she learned while in Europe. They enjoy their food, and take the time to relax and enjoy many of life’s little moments. These are life lessons she is glad to have brought back home with her.