5 major downsides of being a night owl

Sleeping late and staying up late on a regular basis not only raises the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer, but also shortens one's life. The negative effects of sleeping late harm not only adults' health but also teenager’s physical and intellectual development.


In accordance with the body’s biological clock, from 21 p.m. to 5 a.m. is the ideal time for all organs to rest, regenerate, and repair damage. Therefore, getting enough sleep at night is critical for good health. Staying up late and sleeping late on a regular basis can disrupt the normal circadian rhythm and result in a variety of negative consequences, including:

  1. Lack of sleep raises the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

According to research conducted by Professor Francesco Cappuccio (University of Warwick), people who frequently stay up late or sleep less than 6 hours a night can elevate their risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 48 percent and their risk of dying from a stroke by up to 15 percent.

And according to Andrew Varga, MD, associate professor of medicine, pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine at Icahn School of Medicine and Mount Sinai Health System, poor eating habits and a lack of exercise may contribute to night owls’ greater risk of hypertension. Stress, both physiological and psychological, also has a significant effect.

Professor Francesco Cappuccio explained the negative impacts of this late sleep by stating that at night the blood vessels and heart rate slow down so that the body can rest and repair. Attempting to stay up late on a regular basis can cause the heart to work harder and ultimately weaken. This raises the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease.

  1. Being a night owl can lead to uncontrollable weight gain, obesity

Many people believe that sleeping late would help you lose weight and become slimmer. However, this is a completely inaccurate assumption because the reality is quite the opposite. Staying up late can cause your weight to spiral out of control and raise your chances of being obese.

Several studies show that staying up late has a negative impact on the body’s capability to metabolize fat. It disrupts this process, causing unnecessary fat to be retained in the body, particularly in the abdomen, buttocks, thighs, and arms. This not only alters your physical form, but also severely diminishes your beauty.

Furthermore, sleeping late causes you to feel hungry and continue to tolerate junk food, fast food, sweets, or milk into your body. Weight gain is an inevitable side effect.

  1. Staying up late can cause sleep disorders

Unless you live the ideal life and can get eight hours of sleep no matter what time your head hits the pillow, you’re probably getting less sleep when you stay up late.

People usually make promises to themselves like “this is my last video that I’ll watch on YouTube”, “only scrolling Facebook for a bit”, or “just this last episode of some TV series or web drama”, and then always end up staying up till 2-3 a.m. in the morning. Does this sound familiar to you? If so, then you need to change this negative habit.

Overexposure to lamp light and light generated by electronic devices before going to bed will confuse the brain with daytime and lead it to secrete less melatonin, which induces drowsiness. As a result, although those who sleep late are very exhausted, their brains are still highly active, causing them to have difficulty falling asleep, they do not sleep deeply, and in many cases, they suffer from insomnia.

  1. Junior night owls perform worse in school

When conducting a study on the sleep hours of over 10,000 7-year-old children, Professor Amanda Sarker of University College London (UK) discovered that children who go to bed after 9 p.m. have reduced capacity to read, calculate, and respond to circumstances. Thus, not only in adults, but also in kids, sleeping late has a detrimental impact on their brain and cognitive development.

Also, a 2013 study in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that teenagers who went to bed later than 11:30 p.m. throughout the school year had lower grade-point averages and were more vulnerable to emotional issues than those who went to bed earlier.

According to the authors, the study emphasizes the significance of parents regulating bedtimes and limiting the usage of electronic devices at night.

  1. It has been linked to stress, anxiety, and depression

This is another scientifically proven negative effect of sleeping late. According to the findings of a research published in the journal Nature in 2012, long exposure to light at night can affect the response in the human brain. It causes the body to generate more cortisol, a hormone that promotes stress, anxiety, and negative thoughts in the brain.

It is not the first time that being a night owl has been related to negative mood and personality traits. Research published in Personality and Individual Differences in 2008 discovered that “morningness” was associated with agreeableness and conscientiousness, whereas “eveningness” was associated with neuroticism in women and adolescents.

This explains why people who frequently stay up late are prone to stress when things aren’t going well at work or in their personal lives. They are also extremely emotional and might suffer from depression.

Source: health.com