sleep deprivation and bedtime procrastination,” says Khosla.
“While this research certainly is interesting, there is still much to understand about how chronotypes impact health,” she says.
Poorly timed sleep is compounded when you don’t get enough sleep, adds Dr. Alon Avidan. He’s the director of the University of California, Los Angeles Sleep Disorders Center and played no role in the study.
“When night owls have to wake up early to get to work or take their kids to school, they end up not getting enough sleep,” Avidan shares. He explains that lack of sleep sets the stage for memory and thinking issues on top of the other health risks associated with being a night owl.
“Sleep duration and sleep regularity are important,” Avidan adds. “This means going to bed and waking up when it coincides with the dark-light cycle where you are and getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.”
Limit your screen time
Exposure to blue light from devices before bed can also make matters worse, he notes, because blue light tells cells to stay awake. “Blue light is very stimulating and inhibits melatonin and causes sleep delays,” Avidan adds.
Consistency is key
Sleep chronotypes aren’t set in stone, says another expert who was not involved with the study.
Change yours by aiming for consistent, uninterrupted sleep, even on the weekend, says Joseph Henson, a research associate at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom.
Consider eating breakfast as soon as you get up and try to eat lunch at the same time every day, Henson suggests. Get as much natural light in the morning as possible and try exercising in the morning, he advises.
“Carefully monitor your caffeine intake and try to avoid consuming large amounts in the hours before bed, and avoid eating your main meal late in the evening,” Henson says.
Lastly, make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing and at a comfortable temperature. Now you should be prepared for a good night’s rest.