Night Owls Are 10 Percent More Likely To Die Early Than Morning People, UK Study Finds

Mia Lorenzo

A study published in Chronobiology International based on 433,268 people in the United Kingdom in a span of six years revealed "definite evening types," often referred to as night owls, are 10 percent most likely to die early than "definite morning types."

"What we think might be happening is, there's a problem for the night owl who's trying to live in the morning lark world. This mismatch between their internal clock and their external world could lead to problems for their health over the long run, especially if their schedule is irregular."

The study had a six and a half year follow-up period, and during that time 10,000 people passed away. After adjusting for factors such as sleep duration, body mass index, sex, ethnicity, age, and smoking status, researchers concluded that the risk of dying for those who claimed to be night owls or "definitely evening times" were higher by 10 percent compared to "definitely a morning type."

The study did not specify the reason why night owls die, but they did find how definitely evening types are twice as likely to report psychological issues than definitely morning types.

Zeitzer found the link between the night owls and psychological issue.

"And it would definitely take some follow-up to see what that means. Is that depression? Is that anxiety? Are there specific psychological phenomena that are more or less related to chronotype, especially the disparity between your chronotype preferred timing and the actual timing of sleep?"