A new study has found that people who wake up early are slimmer, happier and healthier than those who get up later in the day.
Researchers at the Roehampton University concluded that those who fight the urge to ignore the alarm clock complete morning chores faster pack their children off to school earlier and thrive in the workplace.
However, night owls have a higher chance of feeling depressed or stressed and becoming overweight.
The researchers quizzed 1,068 adults about their health and sleeping habits and found that ‘morning people’ were out of bed by 6.58am on average, while ‘evening people’ waited until 8.54am to start their day.
At the weekend both groups enjoyed about an extra hour under the covers, with early risers waiting until 7.47am to get up and night owls lying in until 10.09am.
“There are morning people and evening people, and morning people tend to be healthier and happier as well as having lower body mass indices,” the Telegraph quoted Dr Joerg Huber as telling a British Psychological Society conference.
The survey also found that people who watch a lot of television are more likely to skip breakfast.
Meanwhile researchers at the University of Warwick Medical School in the UK found those who could not afford to sleep for at least six hours a day are more likely to die from a heart attack or stroke.
“The trend for late nights and early mornings is actually a ticking time bomb for our health so you need to act now to reduce your risk of developing these life-threatening conditions,” said Professor Francesco Cappuccio who led the study.
“There is an expectation in today’s society to fit more into our lives. But in doing so, we are significantly increasing the risk of suffering a stroke or developing cardiovascular disease resulting in, for example, heart attacks,” Cappuccio was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
For their study, Cappuccio and colleagues looked at the sleeping habits of almost 475,000 participants from 15 previous studies across eight countries, including the UK, the US, Japan, Sweden and Germany.
It was found that those who slept for less than six hours were 48 per cent more likely to develop or die from heart disease and 15 per cent more likely to develop or die from a stroke.
According to them, not having enough sleep decreases the levels of leptin in our blood, which means we do not feel as satisfied after eating. At the same time, they said, it raises the levels of ghrelin, responsible for triggering our appetite, thus making us feel hungrier.This means poor sleepers are more likely to eat more and become obese, increasing their risk of high blood pressure and heart disease which lead to heart attacks and strokes. Experts recommend adults get at least six or seven hours’ shut-eye a night to stay healthy.