how night owls can be healthier

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Rule #1: You Have to Follow the Other #1 Rule

You still need seven to eight hours of sleep every night. This is the golden rule for you, and everybody else, really, says Rafael Pelayo, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine. While some health issues are unique to having a sleep schedule that's out of sync with the rest of the world's (more on that in a minute), many of the health problems you're at higher risk for (hunger hormones being out of whack, higher inflammation levels, poor judgment skills) come from getting too little sleep overall, not just from going to bed late. You'll minimize your risk if you can get seven to eight hours each night. If you're a serious night owl (think regularly going to bed at 2 a.m.), you might want to try (if you can—we know it's easier said than done) to adjust your work schedule.