5 Reasons Being a Night Owl Might Be Toxic to Your Health
If you’re one of the many people that find themselves staying up until the early morning each and every night, and not wanting to get out of bed when your alarm goes off in the morning, you’ve probably dubbed yourself a “night owl,” and just accepted it as part of who you are.
Health and sleep experts are now saying that staying up until after midnight when you have to get up before 9 a.m. is a definite recipe for disaster when it comes to your health, and that whether you consider yourself a night owl or not, you should be making every effort to get to bed at an earlier time.
This list covers 5 health concerns that people who stay up late into the night are faced with on a regular basis, and why it’s a very good idea to put yourself to bed before the "witching hour."
1. Staying up late encourages bad eating habits
According to a study by Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, night owls are more likely to eat foods that are higher in fat and gain more weight than those that are early to bed and early to rise. Most people that stay up late into the night report a higher level of snacking than those that turn in at a more decent time, and the scale shows the difference!
2. You don’t get enough time to recharge yourself
You probably know by now that health professionals everywhere recommend getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night, in order to function at your peak the next day. When you deny your body and brain the extra hours of sleep that they crave, you pay the price with aches and pains, lower motor skill functionality, and increased irritability.
3. Regulated and normal sleep becomes less likely
Our bodies come prepared with a built in system that regulates sleep and tells us when to go to bed, and it is all controlled by a hormone called melatonin. When you stay up later than your body would like you to on a regular basis, the levels of melatonin in your brain drops sharply, and before you know it you’re unable to get to sleep due to an out of whack circadian rhythm – even you would really like to be able to fall asleep!
3. Your immune system takes a hit
Studies into the relation of lack of sleep and an increased likelihood of illness by the University of Chicago have shown that night owls not only suffer more bouts of the flu and the common cold, but that they are also more prone to developing certain types of cancer. This is because your immune system is like every other part of your body and brain – it needs sleep to work at its optimal level of performance.
4. Negative thoughts and anxiety become more common
Night owls have also been shown to experience negative thoughts that won’t seem to go away and a higher level of anxiety than those that get the recommended 8 hours of sleep on a regular basis, which can cause issues not only at work, but in your personal life, as well.
Overall, there are more good reasons to get that extra sleep than to stay up watching Netflix or trying to squeeze in some extra work before finally giving in to the sleep that you need.
If you’re a night owl, it’s time to make the switch to a morning person – at least when it comes to your sleep habits!