People who stay up late have a higher risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes than early risers

This is stated in a small study published September 19 in the journal Experimental Physiology.

Researchers from Rutgers University and the University of Virginia looked at data from 51 participants, all of whom were sedentary and had metabolic syndrome, a set of risk factors for chronic disease that includes high blood pressure and high blood sugar.

Participants were followed over the course of a week as they underwent a controlled diet and exercise test.

Participants were divided in chronological order, or their preferred sleep and activity schedule. Early risers (referred to as “early birds”) in the study were identified as those who tended to be more active early in the day, while those who stayed up late ( called with the term “night owls”, roughly translated: night owls) are people who are active later in the evening.

The researchers compared markers of metabolism, such as insulin sensitivity, and the ability to burn carbohydrates or fat for energy at rest and during high- and moderate-intensity exercise, between early risers and night owls.

People who stay up late have a higher risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes than early risers - Photo 1.

People who stay up late have a higher risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes than early risers

They found that early birds burned more fat for energy, both at rest and during exercise, and they were also more sensitive to insulin. In contrast, night owls use carbohydrates for energy instead of burning fat and are also more resistant to insulin. Both of these factors can lead to an increased risk of conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease for night owls, the researchers write.

According to Steven Malin, lead author of the study and professor of kinetics and metabolism at Rutgers University, the results suggest that circadian rhythms, the body’s natural sleep/wake cycle, can be used to gauge risk assessment for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Malin said in a press release: “The difference in fat metabolism between early risers and night owls suggests that our body’s circadian rhythms can affect how our bodies use insulin. Because chronotype (biological time type) appear to affect hormone metabolism and activity, we propose that chronotype can be used as a factor to predict an individual’s disease risk“.

Staying up late disrupts the body’s circadian rhythms

All humans have a circadian rhythm – an internal 24-hour body clock that regulates the release of the hormone melatonin to promote sleep and shuts down production for us to wake up. Our body clock also directs when we are hungry, when we feel most sluggish, and when we feel happy enough to exercise, among many other bodily functions.

Normally, sunrise and nightfall regulate the sleep-wake cycle of humans. Daylight enters the eyes, travels to the brain, and sends out a signal that suppresses melatonin production. When the sun goes down, the body clock activates melatonin production again and a few hours later sleep will come.

Your individual chronotype, which is believed to be genetic, can alter that natural rhythm. If you’re a natural early riser, your circadian rhythm releases melatonin much earlier than usual, helping you to be at your most active in the morning. However, in people who like to stay up late, the body’s internal clock releases melatonin much later, making early morning sluggish and pushing peak activity and alertness into the afternoon and evening.

Experts say the chronological order of sleep can profoundly affect productivity, school performance, social functioning and lifestyle habits. People who like to get up early tend to perform better in school and be more active throughout the day, says Malin, which may partly explain why studies show they have a lower risk of disease. more cardiovascular.

People who like to stay up late may be at greater risk, use more tobacco, alcohol and caffeine, and are more likely to skip breakfast and eat more later in the day. In addition, research shows that “people who like to stay up late have higher amounts of body fat located more in the stomach or abdomen area, an area that many health experts say will adversely affect our health“, Malin said.

Theo CNN

People who stay up late have a higher risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes than early risers - Photo 3.

Future research could help health professionals identify people at high risk based on how they spend their time, thereby providing better preventive care, according to the researchers.

It is not yet clear why early risers are metabolically different from night owls. But one possible explanation is that the study required all participants to go to the lab early in the morning, which could disrupt the night owls’ natural tendency to sleep later, the researchers said. write research. Another reason could be that early risers tend to be better aerobically fit overall.

According to Malin, further studies could help scientists identify the best habits and strategies for overall health, regardless of whether you’re an early riser or a late-nighter.

He said in the press release: “Further research is needed to examine the link between time pattern, exercise, and metabolic adaptation to determine if exercising earlier in the day confers greater health benefits.”.

Source and photo: Insider, CNN

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