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Lark or Night Owl? You might be another bird!November 18, 2014
For years now we have heard of the night owl, who stays up until the early hours of the morning, and more recently of the lark, or the early bird, who gets the worm. Of course the myth that night owls are lazier than larks was dispelled a long time ago, with people like Erwin Schrödinger, a Nobel-prize-winning physicist, as evidence. He simply couldn’t concentrate in the morning – and nobody expected him to! In fact recent studies have suggested that larks are happier and more active than their late-rising counterparts, and that night owls appear to have a greater talent for academic pursuits. Some schools and universities have even started offering both morning and night classes. But is there more to this division than meets the eye?
Scientists in Russia now claim that there is a spectrum of sleep personalities and that they have identified four distinct sleeping types or chronotypes. Above and beyond early and late risers there are also people who are energetic in both the morning and the evening, and people who feel sluggish all day.
Biologist Arcady Putilov at the Siberian division of the Russian Academy of Sciences asked 130 people to stay awake for a period of 24 hours. The subjects reported on how alert they felt and on their sleep patterns. The study found that in the group there were 29 larks, who showed higher energy levels in the morning, and 44 owls, who were active at night. Owls turned in about two hours later, on average, than larks. The rest of the group, however, fell into neither of these patterns. There was a group of 25 highly energetic people who were lively in both the morning and the evening, and a group of 32 people who appeared to be sleepy in both the morning and evening. Both the lethargic and the lively individuals went to bed and woke up somewhere between the times of the owls and the larks. The energetic participants slept half an hour less on average than the other three groups, at about 7.5 hours of sleep each night.
Next time you’re feeling as drowsy as a dodo at your desk, or annoyed at that guy whose energy seems as boundless as a hummingbird’s, you can blame it on your chronotype.
No matter how you are feathered, there is a mattress option for you at The Bed King.
Image source: Wikimedia
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