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Early bird or night owl? Depending on your sleep cycle, you run the risk of chronic disease

A new study suggests night owls are at higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

AUSTIN, Texas — If you pride yourself on staying up late to watch TV or catch up on other things, you might want to flip your schedule a bit. A new study suggests night owls are at higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The study, published by The Psychological Society, found those who go to bed later and wake up later tend to be more sedentary compared to early risers. This lack of aerobic activity can increase their ability to develop obesity, which can lead to insulin resistance. 

"These things increase your risk of developing diabetes and heart disease," said Dr. Vivek Goswami, a cardiologist with Heart Hospital of Austin and Austin Heart.

However, it's not just staying active that's important. 

"Sometimes, individuals that are up throughout the night and wake up later tend to have unhealthier diets," Goswami said. "We're prone to using things like tobacco. We know individuals that tend to be late risers sometimes perform worse at school."

But these are just generalities. Goswami said waking up late doesn't mean you're unhealthy, just that more people who wake up late are prone to sticking to bad habits. Early risers tend to stay more active and avoid unhealthy foods.

"Patients that wake up early perform better at school perform better at work," he said. "They take fewer risks. And all of these may be a very multifaceted approach to why they tend to have less cardiovascular disease and insulin resistance."

Gowsami said as long as you stay active and eat clean, the risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease goes down by about 80%. 

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