June 9, 2023

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Those who sleep like an owl are more prone to stress

Owl sleepers, i.e. people who prefer to sleep late and who are more active at night, have a worse response to stress and a greater predisposition to risky behaviors, such as smoking and alcohol. This is indicated by the research of the University of Pisa published in the journal Chronobiology International and its first author Franci Cruz Sanabria, which was carried out on a sample of 120 healthy adults.

“Analysis of sleep-related behaviors and habits has shown in recent years that we are not all the same,” notes study coordinator Ugo Frajona of the University of Pisa. “There are, in fact, about 15% of the population – he added – that we can define as owls, that is, that they are more active at night, late in the evening and have difficulty in the morning, and 15% of the population that all the opposite tend to get up very early and make the most of the hours The first of the day, the so-called larks. These are two classic examples of chronotyping, that is, a kind of profiling of some important characteristic that can be easily identified by simply observing their sleep habits. Analyzing a sample of 120 healthy people, the study has now determined that owls have a reduced ability to respond to traumatic or stressful events, such as mourning or family separation, with responses sometimes leading to risky behaviors, such as smoking or alcohol. .

“Sleep quality – Farjona added – is now considered a major risk factor for the development of neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia and Parkinson’s disease, yet there is still little attention paid to it.” Help can come from modern wearable technologies, which have greatly facilitated the possibility of easy monitoring of these parameters, for example the bracelets used in the study designed by the University of Pisa startup Sleepacta and which will be among the guests of Converging Skills in June. “One hope is to increase awareness during sleep, as has been done with blood pressure monitoring to reduce circulatory risks,” concluded Farajna.

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