- A new study found that individuals who identify as “evening” chronotypes (night owls) have a 19% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Even after accounting for lifestyle factors, the evening chronotype was still associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Shifting your chronotype towards being more of a morning person may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
If you love staying up late and are doing so regularly, there is new information you need to know.
The study was trying to find links between unhealthy lifestyles and “chronotypes.” A chronotype refers to the time of day one prefers to be active. According to one report, there are three primary types of chronotypes that are related to your circadian rhythm:
- Morning – this includes people who prefer to get up and be active earlier in the day
- Evening – this includes people who prefer to get up later and be active in the evening
- Neither – no preference on performing activities in either the morning or evening
In the new study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 11% of the participants identified as an “evening” chronotype, 35% identified as a “morning” chronotype, and 54% identified as neither.
Over 63,000 adults aged 45-62 participated in the study. Their health was assessed every two years from 2009 to 2017. No participants had a history of diabetes, heart disease, or cancer at the beginning of the study.
After analyzing the data, the researchers found that in night-owls there was an increased risk of developing:
- Type 2 Diabetes – 19% increased risk
- Unhealthy Lifestyle – 54% increased risk
In an editorial discussing the study, a question was asked, “Is chronotype a causal risk factor, or does it simply reflect the clustering of lifestyle and other factors?”
This question is asking, is it the evening chronotype or the lifestyle the person has that increases the risk of type 2 diabetes?
The study found that when taking lifestyle factors into account, the evening chronotype still increased the risk of type 2 diabetes.
How does chronotype affect lifestyle and disease risks?
So, if you want to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, what can you do?
Changing your chronotype could help, according to Steven Malin, PhD, an expert on metabolism and endocrinology. Dr. Malin and his team at Rutgers published a study reporting that morning chronotypes are more sensitive to insulin and burn more fat as compared to evening chronotypes.
Shifting your chronotype could be hard, but in an article, Dr. Malin discussed that you can do so by:
- Waking up 15-30 minutes earlier
- Eating earlier in the day
- Exercising in the morning
- Avoiding food and exercise at night
- Reduce screen time or dimming the lights in the evening
- Going to bed 15-30 minutes earlier
Consistently doing this may help you shift your chronotype.
Yates Protocol For Type 2 Diabetes
Other ways to decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes or reverse type 2 diabetes include the Yates Protocol, created by diabetes expert, Beverly Yates, ND.
The Yates Protocol is a method that has helped thousands of people improve their blood sugar and has also helped patients:
- Improve quality of life
- Improve energy levels
You can learn more about the Yates Protocol and other ways to optimize your health at the Reversing Type 2 Diabetes Summit.
Type 2 Diabetes Videos from DrTalks
Kianersi, S., Liu, Y., Guasch-Ferré, M., Redline, S., Schernhammer, E., Sun, Q., & Huang, T. (2023). Chronotype, Unhealthy Lifestyle, and Diabetes Risk in Middle-Aged U.S. Women : A Prospective Cohort Study. Annals of internal medicine, 10.7326/M23-0728. Advance online publication. Read it here.
Montaruli, A., Castelli, L., Mulè, A., Scurati, R., Esposito, F., Galasso, L., & Roveda, E. (2021). Biological Rhythm and Chronotype: New Perspectives in Health. Biomolecules, 11(4), 487. Read it here.
Lin, K., Song, M., & Giovannucci, E. (2023). Evening Chronotype, Circadian Misalignment, and Metabolic Health: Implications for Diabetes Prevention and Beyond. Annals of internal medicine, 10.7326/M23-2257. Advance online publication. Read it here.
Malin, S. K., Remchak, M. E., Smith, A. J., Ragland, T. J., Heiston, E. M., & Cheema, U. (2022). Early chronotype with metabolic syndrome favours resting and exercise fat oxidation in relation to insulin-stimulated non-oxidative glucose disposal. Experimental physiology, 107(11), 1255–1264. Read it here.
Berman, R. (2023, September 11). Does being a “night owl” increase risk of developing type 2 diabetes? Medical News Today. Read it here.