The Scary Side of Being a Night Owl


Are you a night owl too like many others these days? We will surely help you out.

When you pull an all-nighter, doesn’t it strike your mind that it could be damaging! Leave alone all-nighter, when you wake up for a little longer in the night, don’t you think those extra hours for which you have been awake could be damaging to your health.

When it strikes 10 on the clock, it’s the time for you to get to bed, but you find that you are not able to sleep. It’s 11 and you are still wide awake. It could be a problem, especially if you have set an alarm for yourself for just a few hours later as it could mean that you are missing out on your sleep.

You need to be aware of the sleep patterns and if it is all right staying up for a couple of hours during the night with eyes glued to your favorite TV show.


Danger Ahead

According to a study, published in the Journal Chronobiology International, people, who stayed up till late night and went to sleep late, were 10% more likely to die early as compared to early birds. In this study, 4,33,000 adults were examined over a period of 6 years. However, the study has its own limitations – it examined people only from a single country and studied only one single outcome, which is death.

Other variables that should also be studied are an impact on blood pressure, weight gain and chances of developing metabolic syndrome. This study also suggested that if you are devoid of sleep and eat late at night, then it badly affects your metabolism, causing metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is marked by an increase in blood pressure and cholesterol, and it raises the risk of stroke and heart disease. Staying up late has a negative impact on circadian rhythms, which eventually affects the functioning of adrenal glands and disturbs the release and timing of cortisol, a hormone that determines blood pressure.

If you get an adequate amount of sleep, even if you have gone to bed late at night but then woke up late in the morning to complete your 7-8 hours of sleep, you will be fine. It is actually a problem if you stay up late and wake up early in the morning, getting less than 6 hours of sleep. This may put you at risk of metabolic syndrome and other related health conditions.

You must also maintain your schedule. This means if you are going to sleep late at night and waking up later next morning; keep up with the routine. If you are inconsistent as far as times of sleeping and waking up are concerned, it can damage your body by disturbing circadian rhythms.

Benefits of Waking up till Late in the Night

If you are a night owl, it is possible that you may perform your best at this time as you are genetically programmed this way. Maybe, you are more creative when you are utilizing the night hours. Some studies also say that people, who stay up till late in the night are more intelligent and creative.

Night owls exhibit greater creativity and generally score more on tests related to deductive reasoning.

If you are getting adequate sleep, you can stay up how much late you like, especially if it works for you. If you have to stay up late, eat light stuff. If you eat heavier meals, you will find it difficult to fall asleep. This could disturb your digestion and raise the insulin levels, causing metabolic syndrome. If you are staying up late, have foods that can be digested easily. Consume healthy carbs, but not too much fiber, protein and fat. Fresh vegetables are also a good option.

If you are unable to catch some Z’s, you can go for a bowl of oatmeal, which is a great late-night snack, which also helps you sleep well. It has beta-glucan, which manages cholesterol too.