Nurse Study: Night Owls More Likely to Develop Diabetes

 In Nurses Weekly

People who stay up late are more likely to have unhealthy lifestyle behaviors that can lead to developing Type 2 diabetes, a new study found.

Self-described “night owls” were more likely to exercise less, consume unhealthy diets, have a higher body mass index, sleep less and smoke cigarettes over the early birds, according to the report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The Nurses’ Health Study II analyzed data from over 60,000 female nurses and found middle-aged nurses with an evening chronotype were more likely to report unhealthy lifestyle habits and carry an increased diabetes risk than the nurses with a morning chronotype.

About 19% of night owl nurses were more likely to develop diabetes according to the researchers who accounted for the impact of the listed unhealthy habits.

“A 19% increased risk, after adjusting for other factors, is a strong risk factor,” said the study’s senior author, Tianyi Huang, a Harvard Medical School assistant professor, according to NBC News.

The participants in the study featured 11% self-identified night owls, 35% early birds and 54% who didn’t identify heavily as either morning or evening people.

Why late sleepers tend to die sooner than morning people

Early birds tend to live longer than night owls, according to a June study in the peer-reviewed journal Chronobiology International. However, the research shows the observation may have holes, as sleep isn’t as much a reason way as much as the behaviors night owls engage in.

The research analyzed data from more than 20,000 participants of a 1981 survey regarding sleeping habits.

About 29% of survey participants reported being morning people, nearly 10% reported being evening people, nearly 28% said they were “somewhat” morning people and 33% said they were “somewhat” evening people.

Even after adjusting for factors like age, body mass index, sleep duration, and health problems, study authors found the self-described night owls were more likely than the morning people to die younger.

(This story originally appeared in AZCentral via USA Today.)

24/7 Crisis Hotline for Impaired Nurses - 1-800-662-0108