Night owls may be more sedentary, less motivated to exercise

June 3, 2014, American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Credit: Peter Griffin/Public Domain

A new study suggests that night owls are more sedentary and feel that they have a harder time maintaining an exercise schedule.

Results show that later times were associated with more self-reported minutes sitting, and sleep timing remained a significant predictor of sedentary minutes after controlling for age and sleep duration. However, people who characterized themselves as night owls reported more sitting time and more perceived barriers to , including not having enough time for exercise and being unable to stick to an exercise schedule regardless of what time they actually went to bed or woke up.

"We found that even among healthy, active individuals, sleep timing and circadian preference are related to activity patterns and attitudes toward ," said principal investigator Kelly Glazer Baron, PhD, associate professor of neurology and director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. "Waking up late and being an evening person were related to more time spent sitting, particularly on weekends and with difficulty making time to exercise."

The research abstract was published recently in an online supplement of the journal Sleep, and will be presented Wednesday, June 4, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at SLEEP 2014, the 28th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC.

The study group comprised 123 healthy adults with a self-reported sleep duration of at least 6.5 hours. Sleep variables were measured by seven days of wrist actigraphy along with sleep diaries. Self-reported physical activity and attitudes toward exercise were evaluated by questionnaires including the International Physical Activity Questionnaire.

"This was a highly active sample averaging 83 minutes of vigorous activity per week," said Glazer Baron. "Even among those who were able to exercise, waking up late made it and being an evening person made it perceived as more difficult."

According to Baron, the study suggests that circadian factors should be taken into consideration as part of exercise recommendations and interventions, especially for less active adults.

"Sleep timing should be taken into account when discussing exercise participation," she added. "We could expect that sleep timing would play even a larger role in a population that had more difficulty exercising."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults get at last 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week and participate in muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week.

Explore further: Improved sleep may improve exercise duration

More information: "Early To Bed, Early To Rise Makes Easier To Exercise: The Role Of Sleep Timing In Physical Activity And Sedentary Behavior," Sleep, 2014.

Related Stories

Improved sleep may improve exercise duration

August 23, 2013
(HealthDay)—The length of an individual's sleep appears to influence their participation level in exercise the next day, according to a small study published in the August issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

Exercise is no quick cure for insomnia, it takes four months to kick in

August 15, 2013
Exercise is a common prescription for insomnia. But spending 45 minutes on the treadmill one day won't translate into better sleep that night, according to new Northwestern Medicine research.

New campaign seeks to help sleep-deprived Americans

May 23, 2014
(HealthDay)—Everyone knows that to be healthy you should eat right and exercise. But now a new campaign is adding one more thing to that list: get a good night's sleep every night.

Study links evening blue light exposure to increased hunger

June 2, 2014
A new study suggests that blue-enriched light exposure immediately before and during the evening meal may increase hunger and alter metabolism.

Vigorous evening exercise not detrimental to sleep quality

January 15, 2014
A paper published in the European Journal of Sport Science found early evening high-intensity training had no significant impact on sleep quality and quantity in elite youth soccer players.

Sleep may stop chronic pain sufferers from becoming zombies

March 27, 2014
Chronic pain sufferers could be kept physically active by improving the quality of their sleep, new research suggests.

Recommended for you

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.