Early riser or night owl?

2/02/2010

Which is better for you - in bed by 9 or living it large and sleeping till noon? Your sleep pattern can have an effect on both your health and your social life, so does the early bird get more than the worm?

 

Clock smashedThe argument between larks and night owls has never really been resolved but new studies have suggested that morning people are healthier, more conscientious and more emotionally stable, while their night owl friends are likely to be living their daylight hours through a haze of caffeine. Which type are you?

There has been a lot of research into the differences between those who stay up late and those who turn in early, with some very interesting results. The thinking is that early risers tend to reach conclusions through logic and analysis, while night owls are more imaginative and open to unconventional ideas, preferring the unknown and favouring intuitive leaps on their way to reaching conclusions.

Morning people are also thought to be more self-controlled, respect authority, and want to make a good impression. Evening people, by contrast, are independent non-conformists, who are reluctant to bow to authority.

But is it possible to become a morning person if you’re naturally a night owl? Apparently it’s all down to tricking the body’s in-built clock to shift your sleep pattern. Night owls should keep the lights as dim as possible in the evenings, avoid the television and computer and give up caffeine after 6pm if they want to get an early night and be raring to go when the alarm clock rings. Early-to-bed types can of course force themselves to stay awake in the evenings with caffeine-filled drinks, bright lights and a gripping movie on TV. But either way the body needs seven to eight hours to function properly, so getting enough shut-eye at whatever time of night is most important of all.


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