Why Early Risers Tend To Be Healthier

The early bird gets the worm — and the vegetables, fruits and lean proteins, according to an analysis of data from more than 850,000 Jawbone UP fitness trackers from around the world. (Worms might count as a lean protein, now that we think about it.)

In a report on sleep and nutrition released exclusively to The Huffington Post, Jawbone found that users who went to bed at a consistent time every night — a time earlier than 11 p.m., that is — logged fewer calories and ate more nutritious food.

In contrast, “night owls” who go to bed between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. tend to consume more caffeine, alcohol, refined sugars, processed carbs, processed meats and saturated fats than their “early bird” counterparts.

This could have major implications for sleep and weight loss.

“If you go to bed an hour earlier, and do so consistently for a year, in theory, this could add up to [a loss of] 4-5 pounds with no changes in activity,” Dr. Kirstin Aschbacher, a data scientist at Jawbone, told HuffPost.

(It’s worth noting that Jawbone’s definition of a “night owl” is only based on what time you to go bed, not how much sleep you actually get. In other words, the category includes people with shifted sleep schedules and people who simply go to bed late and wake up at a normal hour.)

Jawbone’s report dovetails with the existing scientific literature on bedtime and wellness. The relationship between getting more sleep and making better food choices is well-documented. A study published last year in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who sleep more tend to eat less saturated fat than their peers who don’t get as much rest. And a 2015 study from the University of California, Berkeley, found that teens —> Read More