People who stay up late are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease, a new study has found.
In this new survey, the results of which were recently published in Experimental physiology, 51 people participated, aged around 50 and with a sedentary lifestyle, divided into two groups: those who went to bed early and those who went to bed late. They had no disease but had symptoms such as high blood pressure, high fasting blood sugar or increase in waist circumference.
The participants were followed for a week to determine their level of physical activity, after which they underwent metabolic tests.
The results revealed that the “daytime” people were more sensitive to insulin and had better results in using fat as a source of energy. On the other hand, the “nocturnal” people relied more on the transformation of carbohydrates into energy and showed signs of insulin resistance.
“The differences in fat metabolism between ‘the two groups’ show that our body’s circadian rhythm can affect how our bodies use insulin,” said Steven Malin, a researcher at Rutgers University in the US ( USA), and one of the authors of the study.
“A sensitive or impaired ability to respond to insulin has major implications for our health,” he added. The team concluded that metabolic differences may make nocturnal people more susceptible to cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
However, there are a few caveats regarding conclusions. Monitoring of physical activity before metabolic testing showed that “daytime” people were more active than “nighttime” people.
In this sense, do the metabolic differences between the two groups reflect differences in physical activity? Or will physical activity be more metabolically beneficial when done in the morning?
“Further research is needed to determine the relationship between chronotype and [sincronização do ritmo circadiano]exercise and metabolic adaptation to determine whether physical exercise performed earlier has more benefits for health,” noted Steven Malin.