Bhubaneswar, Sept 15: Are you a night owl, someone who thrives in the late hours of the night? While this nocturnal lifestyle might seem appealing, recent research suggests it may come with an unexpected health risk: a higher likelihood of developing Type-2 diabetes.
Individuals with what scientists call an "evening chronotype" - those who prefer to be active in the evening, stay up late, and wake up later in the day - face a 19 percent higher risk of developing Type-2 diabetes.
What's particularly striking about this finding is that it holds true even after researchers meticulously accounted for various lifestyle factors. In other words, unhealthy habits like poor diet or lack of physical activity may contribute to a portion of the risk, but they do not fully explain the association between being a night owl and Type-2 diabetes.
So, what is it about being a night owl that might raise the risk of this metabolic disorder? Several factors come into play.
Disrupted Circadian Rhythms: Our bodies have natural internal clocks that regulate various bodily functions, including our sleep-wake cycle and insulin sensitivity. Night owls often disrupt these circadian rhythms by staying up late and sleeping in, potentially affecting how their bodies process glucose, leading to insulin resistance.
Irregular Meal Timing: Night owls may have irregular eating patterns, such as late-night snacking or skipping breakfast due to their sleep schedule. These irregularities can negatively impact blood sugar control, a significant factor in Type-2 diabetes development.
Limited Exposure to Sunlight: Night owls tend to have less exposure to natural light, which plays a crucial role in regulating our internal clocks. This reduced exposure may further disrupt their circadian rhythms and metabolism.
Social Jetlag: Living in a world that often operates on a diurnal schedule, night owls can experience social jetlag - a misalignment between their preferred sleep times and societal demands. This constant misalignment can stress the body and potentially contribute to diabetes risk.
If you're someone who thrives during the late hours, paying attention to your overall health and lifestyle choices can help reduce the risk of Type-2 diabetes and ensure that your nocturnal habits don't compromise your well-being.