“Background: Controversy remains about whether early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise (the Ben Franklin hypothesis), or healthy, wealthy and dead (the James Thurber hypothesis).
Methods: As part of the Determinants of Myocardial Infarction Onset Study, we determined through personal interviews the bedtimes and wake times of 949 men admitted to hospital with acute myocardial infarction. Participants reported their educational attainment and zip code of residence, from which local median income was estimated. We followed participants for mortality for a mean of 3.7 years. We defined early-to-bed and early-to-rise respectively as a bedtime before 11 pm and wake time before 6:30 am.
Results: Hours in bed were inversely associated with number of cups of coffee consumed (age-adjusted Spearman correlation coefficient r –0.07, p = 0.03). The mortality of early-to-bed, early-to-risers did not differ significantly from other groups. There was also no relation between bed habits and local income, nor with educational attainment.
Interpretation: Our results refute both the Franklin and Thurber hypotheses. Early to bed and early to rise is not associated with health, wealth or wisdom.”
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