Nocturnal lifestyle can lead to premature death
May 21, 2018
Imagine experiencing a jet lag every day. It is into this state that people leading a nocturnal lifestyle drive themselves. And this can directly affect their health. Let’s figure out what’s what.
There are owls and larks among us – people who are nocturnal and those who prefer to get up with dawn. For a long time, scientists have been studying and trying to understand how the choice of regime affects our personal and social life.
0.2% of the adult population of our planet, that is, one in 500 people, has a chronic resistance to early sleep. Such people, as a rule, cannot fall asleep before three in the morning. And about 1% of people have the opposite pathology – they fall asleep around 8 pm. Most people – about 50 percent – are right in the middle of the major chronotypes; on average, they sleep from 11pm to 7am. However, there are a number of people who deliberately “switch” to a nocturnal lifestyle.
It is generally accepted that “owls” are a kind of party-goers who are irresponsible in their lives and are not ready to follow a standard schedule. However, this is often not the case. Each of us needs about 7 (or slightly more) hours of sleep. And “owls” do not necessarily sleep longer than “larks”, they just sleep at a different time. However, this backfires.
Last week, staff at the University of Surrey published the results of a large-scale study involving 433,000 Britons. Scientists observed them for 6.5 years, and concluded that the risk of early death increases by 10% in those people who are nocturnal. This applies to both men and women, regardless of age.
In addition, owls have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, stomach problems, and mental health problems.
The results of the study do not say that early death is inevitable for “owls”, and it is not yet clear what this may depend on. However, scientists urge you to pay more attention to your sleep.
Each of us – regardless of the chronotype – needs seven or more hours of sleep.
It is quite possible that the main problem in the differences in chronotypes and consequences is related to the fact that the biological clocks of the “owl” and the surrounding society differ, which causes more misunderstandings and stressful situations in a person.
We must follow common sense and listen to the body. And let your body enjoy the right sleep.
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