FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Lack of sleep, consuming more calories, and exercising less can lead to night owls possibly developing type two diabetes according to a Harvard University study. 

Tra Venzant is an architecture major at the University of Arkansas, which he says has forced him to become a night owl.

I really go to sleep early and wake up early, but since I’m an architect, I can’t do that because we got projects due daily. So, either I get my work done or I go to sleep. I’d rather get my work done, so I get my degree,” he said. 

The study was led by Dr. Sina Kianersi. She found night owls had a 72% higher risk of developing diabetes over an eight-year period compared to early birds. 

Dr. Kelly Thompson-Davis, advanced practice registered nurse, is a family nurse practitioner- specializing in family medicine at Northwest Primary Care in Bentonville. She says early birds have more time in the day to be active unlike night owls. 

“The night owl who’s sleeping during the daytime, once they are up, their schedule of events  just makes it more difficult for them to get into activities that are better for our health,” he said. 

Thompson-Davis says you do not have to force yourself to be an early bird to stay healthy, you just have to work harder.

He also says having diabetes is a life-long concerning problem, but your primary care doctor can help you manage.