Are you a night owl? 5 reasons sleeping late at night is increasing your diabetes risk


Night owls are those who stay up late into the night or even early morning hours and are able to doze only after that. As a result, they are more active and efficient towards afternoon and evening, as their biological clock is different than others. While this may be a genetic tendency in some, others can wake up till late due to office shifts or out of habit. Night owls are more susceptible to certain diseases as they are likely to skip breakfast and eat more later during the day. They even have more likelihood of developing abdominal fat or belly fat which can further lead to type 2 diabetes and heart disease. (Also read: Here’s how gut microbiome acts as a key player in diabetes prevention and management)

Recent research suggested that being a ‘night owl’ or having an ‘evening chronotype’ can increase risk of diabetes by 19% compared with being an early riser.(Freepik)

Recent research suggested that being a ‘night owl’ or having an ‘evening chronotype’ can increase risk of diabetes by 19% compared with being an early riser.

Here are all the reasons why night owls are more at risk of diabetes as per an expert:

“In today’s fast-paced world, many individuals find themselves staying up late into the night, earning the title of ‘night owls’. Several studies indicate that night owls may be more susceptible to certain health risks, including diabetes,” says Dr. Navneet Agrawal, Chief Clinical Officer, BeatO.

Dr Agarwal give five reasons why night owls face an elevated risk of diabetes.

1. Disrupted circadian rhythm

Our bodies have a natural circadian rhythm that regulates various physiological processes, including glucose metabolism. Night owls tend to have irregular sleep patterns, which can disrupt this rhythm and negatively impact blood sugar control.

2. Poor sleep quality

Night owls often experience poor sleep quality, leading to sleep deprivation. Inadequate sleep can result in insulin resistance, a defining characteristic of type 2 diabetes.

3. Unhealthy eating habits

Late-night snacking is a common habit among night owls, and these snacks are often high in sugar and unhealthy fats. Consistently poor dietary choices can contribute to weight gain and increase the risk of diabetes.

4. Limited physical activity

Night owls may struggle to find time for regular exercise due to their late-night schedules. Physical inactivity is a known risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

5. Stress and mental health

Irregular sleep patterns and social jetlag can increase stress levels and impact mental health. Chronic stress and mental health issues are associated with an increased risk of diabetes.

“In conclusion, while being a night owl may be a personal choice, it’s essential to be aware of the potential health risks. To mitigate these risks, night owls should strive for better sleep hygiene, healthier eating habits, regular physical activity, and stress management techniques. If you identify as a night owl, it’s crucial to prioritize your health and consider making lifestyle adjustments to reduce your risk of diabetes. Remember, it’s never too late to start prioritizing your well-being,” adds Dr Agarwal.


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