Early bird or night owl: how your alarm clock affects your health

Researchers in Finland recently looked at 2,000 randomly-chosen people to figure out whether there’s any noticeable difference in health and performance between early-risers and night-owls. Their findings were surprising.

The study, led by Mirkka Maukonen of the National Institute of Health and Welfare in Helsinki, found that “evening type people have less favorable eating habits, which may put them at a higher risk for obesity, diabetes and heart disease.”

Night owls ate less protein overall, and more sugar-rich and fatty foods in the evening, which led to weight gain. They also had less physical activity, were more likely to smoke, and also had more trouble sleeping. Ouch.

It reminds me of the words of Benjamin Franklin: “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”.

What do you think? Have you tried waking up earlier to see if it makes a difference for you? Are you a night owl or an early bird?

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Author: Colin Stone

Professional Relaxation Therapist (MASC, BSYA) and founder of the Relaxation Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Using guided imagery, therapeutic music and aromatherapy to relieve stress in the most relaxing room on earth!