No Night-Owls: Early Bedtime Best for Type 2 Diabetes


What time do you go to bed? If you’re a night owl, you probably stay up late. After all there’s plenty to do during the late-night hours like watch TV, visit with friends, play games, or work on projects.

  • But what if being a night owl puts your health at risk?
  • Would you adjust your bedtime?

News for night owls…

In a recent study, researchers discovered something night owls may want to consider.

If you go to bed late and sleep in later, you’re a lot less likely to exercise if you have type 2 diabetes. How much less? 56 percent less than people who went to bed earlier.

Researchers at University of Leicester in the United Kingdom looked at data from digital tracking devices for 600 people with type 2 diabetes. They found that even though night owls might get the same amount of sleep as early-to-bed types, night owls don’t get as much exercise.

Lack of exercise is a risk factor for:

  • Weight gain
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease.
  • And it can make it harder to manage blood glucose levels.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s an easy fix. Go to bed earlier. At first you might think it’s too hard to change your sleep schedule, but you can do it. It usually takes just a few days for your body’s circadian rhythm to adjust.

Early to bed...early to rise

Go to bed a little earlier, and set an alarm to wake up earlier. The first couple of days, you might feel tired. But stick to the schedule. Within a few more days you’ll reset your clock and be able to join the ranks of people who live by the mantra: “Early to bed...early to rise...can make you healthy, wealthy and wise."

No guarantee that going to bed earlier will make you wealthy and wise. But current research does suggest an earlier bedtime will help you be more active and manage diabetes better. So you’re going to skip the midnight snack now that you’re going to bed earlier. But if you’re hungry, have an easy-to-prepare Diabetic-Friendly meal when you wake up.