Night Owls Risk Dying Early Interview with:
“Sleep” by Spencer Smith is licensed under CC BY 2.0Kristen L. Knutson, PhD

Associate Professor
Center for Circadian and Sleep Medicine
Department of Neurology
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Chicago, IL  60611​ What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Previous research has shown that “night owls” (people who prefer the evening) have higher rates of diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure.  We wanted to determine whether mortality risk was also higher in night owls. We used data from the UK Biobank of almost a half million people who were asked whether they were morning or evening types.

We found that the night owls had a 10% increased risk of dying over a 6 ½ year period compared to the morning types, even after taking into account existing health problems.

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