According to a study published in the 15 April issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, people who are labelled ‘night owls’ are more prone to pathological symptoms related to insomnia than others. Even if they are the opportunity to allowed to compensate for their nocturnal sleeplessness by extending their time in staying in bed longerand being able to gain more total sleep time, this group exhibits more sleep disorders.
These findings are based on a Stanford University study of 312 patients, who were categorized as morning, intermediate and evening chronotypes. Compared to the morning and intermediate types, people with insomnia who prefer evening activities (i.e. night owls) reported the most sleep/wake irregularities and waking distress, even after adjusting for severity of sleep disturbance.
Recent studies associate lack of sleep with serious health problems such as depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Experts recommend that adults get between seven and eight hours of sleep each night to maintain good health and optimum performance. About 30% of adults have symptoms of insomnia. “Our findings indicate that further research should investigate the relationship between circadian rhythms and insomnia, especially with the severity of the ‘night owls’ group,” said the authors. The human larks can sleep easy, while the night owls among us had better wake up.