Avoiding going to bed too late could reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, researchers have said.
In the first-ever major international trial comparing so-called night owls – people who stay up late – to early risers, the findings showed night owls were more inclined to eat late, drink more alcohol, consume more sugar and skip breakfast the next day.
In addition, they were less likely to eat vegetables and were found to have bigger, but less frequent meals.
These eating patterns indicate that this could be why those who go to bed late were found to have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes – a condition commonly associated with a less healthy lifestyle.
Blood glucose levels are typically lower through the night than during the day in healthy people. However, snacking late at night can increase glucose levels, impacting metabolism through the night, which could explain why those who favour staying up late could be at greater risk of poorer health.
Lead author Suzana Almoosawi, Ph.D., a research fellow at Northumbria University, said: “In adulthood, being an evening chronotype is associated with greater risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and this may be potentially due to the poorer eating behaviour and diet of people with evening chronotype.”
Staying up late could also negatively affect those who already have type 2 diabetes, the team said.
Ms Almoosawi added: “Our review also found that people who have a poorer control of their diabetes are more likely to be evening types.”
The findings have been published in the Advances in Nutrition journal.

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