Are Night Owls Unhealthy?

Photo by DevonTT

Photo by DevonTT

Most people fall into one of two categories; a night owl or a morning person. There are pros and cons to each one, but what most night owl men don’t realize is that their lifestyle is unhealthy. While there certainly isn’t anything wrong with staying up late from time to time, it’s generally an unhealthy habit that can affect your productivity, your stress levels, and even your mood.

The Importance of Sleep

A grown man requires a minimum of eight hours of good, solid sleep each night to restore his body. If you’re getting less sleep than this, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Not getting enough sleep causes a myriad of health issues from poor memory function to a poor attention span to tension. If you’re a night owl and you have to get up early each day to get to work or get the kids to school, you’re probably not getting the adequate amount of sleep required to function at your fullest. The only time it’s not unhealthy to be a night owl is if you have nowhere to go in the mornings and you can sleep in as long as you’d like to ensure you get your solid eight hours. Of course, this situation means you probably have other things to worry about on top of your health.

The First Negative Signs of Being a Night Owl

If you’re not getting the recommended amount of sleep each night, you’re going to notice a few immediate signs. You’re going to become irritable, moody, and incapable of focusing on tasks that require your attention. Being a night owl might give you the time to catch up on all your favorite sports programs and television shows, but it’s not worth taking out your moodiness and irritability on your wife the following morning.

Memory Loss

You might not remember much of what you learned when you were younger, but allowing yourself to become a night owl who lacks sleep can cause you to have trouble remembering things as recent as what you learned today. Letting your inner night owl take over your life could cause your performance at work to suffer from your lack of ability to remember what you need to do, what you learn on a regular basis, what clients say, and what your boss has to say.

Focus

Another negative side effect of being a night owl includes the inability to focus. Not getting enough sleep often enough can actually cause you to lose focus in the same manner as having too much to drink. Of course, having too much to drink sounds like a much better time than not getting enough sleep, but the negative effects are very much the same. Your ability to focus is directly affected by the number of hours you sleep each night. Waking up feeling as if you’re in a fog is a common sign that you need to tame your inner night owl and get to bed at a decent hour.

Getting Enough Sleep

Fortunately, being a night owl is something you can change. The easiest way to change your sleep habits is to change them a little at a time. For example, if you typically stay up until one or two in the morning, start going to bed a half hour earlier each night until you’re in bed by 10 or 11. You can help yourself accomplish this by turning off your electronics at least an hour before bed time, by exercising earlier in the day rather than late at night, and by avoiding snacks and alcoholic beverages after dinner. Little changes to your sleep habits can make a big difference in your overall health.