Is Being a Night Owl Bad For Your Health?

Many night owls exist in the world. Night owls are people who prefer not to sleep until the late hours of the night. A night owl may not go to sleep until after midnight and into the twilight hours. Some people have night owl schedules because of the jobs they work. Working night owls may not get to bed until after 7 a.m., and some of them wait longer than that. Some medical specialists attest that the night owl lifestyle is detrimental to a person’s health and wellness. Several studies have provided supporting evidence for that statement.

Korean Night Owl Study

A Korean medical institution conducted a study on a group of more than 1,000 people. The results of the study found that the people in the night owl group were much more likely to develop diabetes than the normal sleepers were. Another likelihood that the study found is a likelihood that the female night owls would develop excess fat in their waste areas. Additionally, the night owls had a high probability of developing high sugar levels.

All About Metabolic Syndrome

Some people believe that night owls can maintain their health as long as they get the required eight hours of sleep whenever they fall asleep. Another group of experts proved that concept to be untrue when it conducted some tests on more than 1,600 people. The tests found that night owl participants were highly likely to develop metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a condition in which the body’s biochemical process is imbalanced. Metabolic syndrome can cause a wide variety of symptoms such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • Apple shaped waistline
  • Low cholesterol
  • Increased risk for heart disease and stroke

Other Effects of the Night Owl Lifestyle

The night owl lifestyle can have some other effects on a person’s health that the studies did not cover. For example, a night owl may have issues with memory, concentration, equilibrium and mood. Sleeping during the day is unnatural, and the symptoms may arise even if the person gets more than eight hours of sleep.

Irritability is highly common in night owls. Depression, anxiety, dark eye circles, dehydration, confusion and fatigue are some additional symptoms that a night owl may have. The best advice for a night owl is for that person to try to return to a healthy sleeping pattern. Returning to a healthy sleeping pattern may take some time.

Tips for Staying Healthy as a Night Owl

Some people have to live as night owls for a while because of their job positions. Such people can use the following tips to stay healthy until they find a way to shift their hours:

Take Multivitamins

A multivitamin will provide a night owl with the essential vitamins and minerals that he or she needs. The person should eat fruits and vegetables throughout the day, as well.

Stay Hydrated

The recommended amount of water that a person should drink is eight glasses of water per day. Water and Gatorade are ideal, but fruit juice is an excellent alternative.

Use Dark Shades

Placing dark shades or aluminum foil on the windows can help a night owl to get the appropriate level of sleep. Some people have poor health because they never reach REM sleep during their times of rest. Aluminum foil can create the illusion of nighttime.

Essentially, night owls will want to adjust their sleep times. An 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. bed time is the healthiest time for people of all ages.