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Early Bird Gets the Worm; Night Owls Catch an Early Death

night owl person

Story at-a-glance -

  • People who were definite evening types had a 10 percent increased risk of dying from any cause compared to definite morning types
  • The more a person trended toward an evening chronotype, the higher their disease risk became
  • Compared to early birds, night owls had nearly double the risk of developing a psychological disorder, a 30 percent higher risk of diabetes, a 23 percent higher risk of respiratory disease and a 22 percent higher risk of gastrointestinal disease
  • There are many changes you can make to gradually push your chronotype toward the earlier variety, including getting bright light exposure during the day and wearing blue-blocking glasses at night

By Dr. Mercola

Your chronotype, or what time of day you prefer to conduct your daily activities, is the result of both innate and environmental factors. Many people identify as being more of an "early bird" or "night owl" but fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. True night owls, however, described as later or evening chronotypes, tend to go to sleep later, and both later bedtimes and having an evening chronotype have been associated with an increased risk of health problems ranging from metabolic dysfunction to heart disease.


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