Study: Night owls have higher risk of diabetes

The link isn't definitive, but researchers have plenty of theories why
Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 6:23 AM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Groggy in the morning but more awake at night? You might be a night owl. A new study links staying up late to an increased risk of diabetes.

Researchers say it’s a sleep pattern or chronotype that makes you more inclined to want to stay up and sleep in. This study found night owls showed a 72% greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes over 8 years.

It’s not clear why that is, but researchers noted people who stay awake into the late hours were likely to have poor diets, drink more alcohol, be less physically active, and have more body fat. They also tended to sleep less or more than the recommended 7 to 9 hours.

Even when these lifestyle factors were accounted for, night owls still had a 19% higher chance of developing diabetes.

Scientists think the same genetic factors that make people more likely to stay up late could also make them more predisposed to the disease.

The study was published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.