We often divide people into “morning larks” and “night owls” based on when they feel most energetic and ready to take on the day. But did you know that being a morning person or a night person might actually have a role in how long we live? Recent research has made some surprising discoveries about this!
What the Finnish Study Found
A comprehensive study from Finland, conducted over 37 years, found something interesting: people who stay up late, or “night owls,” might have a slightly higher risk of dying earlier than people who are early risers, or “morning larks”. They analyzed data from 22,976 adult twins in Finland and found that those who definitely considered themselves to be night owls had a 9% higher chance of dying from any cause.
The Impact of Personal Habits
But here’s the twist: it wasn’t staying up late that caused the higher risk of dying. Instead, it was the habits that people staying up late often have, like smoking more and drinking more alcohol. These habits lead to diseases related to smoking and drinking. However, night owls who didn’t smoke and didn’t drink a lot didn’t have a higher risk of dying from any cause.
How Our Body Clocks and Habits Connect
An important part of the study was the discovery of a link between our body clocks and our habits. People who like to stay up late often use more alcohol and substances. This shows a fascinating connection between when we like to be awake and our habits.
Comparisons with Previous Studies
The study in Finland also brought up some differences from past research. Earlier studies, including one from the UK, had suggested that night owls had a higher chance of dying from any cause and particularly from heart disease. However, this latest study didn’t find a higher chance of dying from heart disease among night owls, showing that more research needs to be done in this area.
How We Can Use This Information
The strengths of the Finnish study, like the long time it was conducted over and the large number of people it looked at, make its findings pretty reliable. But, the study also had some limitations, like it only used one question to figure out if someone was a morning lark or a night owl, which shows that future studies can be improved. In the end, while night owls might have a higher risk of dying earlier, it’s important to remember that it’s not because they stay up late but because of the habits they might have.
This study brings to light some interesting connections between when we prefer to be awake, our personal habits, and how long we live. It reminds us that whether we’re morning larks or night owls, the choices we make and their impacts on our health are what truly matter. As more research is done, we’ll be able to understand these relationships better and learn how to live healthier lives, no matter if we’re early birds or night owls.