Insomnia Worse for Night Owls

Posted on April 16, 2007 

Insomnia Worse for Night Owls

Ever wish you had the luxury of staying up late and sleeping in? Be careful what you wish for. According to a new study, night owls with insomnia may have a harder time of it than early risers, despite spending more time asleep.

The conclusion comes from 312 insomniacs—those who have trouble falling or staying asleep or who have poor quality sleep—who went to the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic in California for group therapy. Patients filled out a series of questionnaires about their sleep habits, mental health and attitudes about sleep.

Researchers categorized each patient as a morning or evening person, or an intermediate case, depending on when they went to bed and the time of day they preferred to do things. Compared with the morning and intermediate types, night owls went to bed an hour or more later but reported more time spent sleeping and more time in bed. On average, they slept 6.4 hours, compared to 5.9 for early risers, and spent 8.7 hours in bed compared to 7.9.

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