Here is a common question that gets tossed about in casual conversations. Are you a morning or night person? These are two ends of the same spectrum and those who occupy each of these categories have their own reasons and compulsions for where they fit in.
Is it better to be a morning person or a night person? Often, night owl might feel like they get their best work done in the late hours of the evening. While a morning person may find it essential to be productive as early as possible. But which is the better option for you?
There has been the ongoing morning person vs night person debate on which is better. Is a morning person supposed to be healthier and more productive? Or as a night owl can you still be healthy and productive?
One such morning person vs. night person psychology study was conducted by Richard Roberts and Patrick Kyllonen of the University of Sydney and the Air Force Research Lab, respectively, which makes for a closer reading. With a sample size of over 400 participants spanning both types, they studied them through intelligence and cognitive tests.
Contrary to popular belief and expectations, it was seen that a night person fared better than a morning person. The results were published in the 1999 edition of the research journal, Personality and Individual Differences.
Morning vs. night person
- A night person, typically, begins his day much later. By the time a morning person has seen through half his day, he is only beginning his. However, research by Roberts and Kullonen confirmed that, despite the fact that morning types tend to have higher academic accomplishments, night owls are more capable of retaining information, processing information quickly and performing cognitive tasks well, even when they have to do them first thing in the morning.
- A night person was found to be more active and better at sports.
- There were more instances of partying, nightlife and even a percentage of infidelity when it came to night persons.
- There still is one point in favour of a morning person that vindicates the old adage, coined by Ben Franklin, which credits a lark with better health. When compared to someone who wakes up and sleeps early, a night owl was found to be smoking and drinking more. This doesn’t come as a surprise as unwinding at day end for the night person comes much later.
- In a 2011 study on personality and individual differences of adolescents, Christoph Randler and Lena Saliger found that teenagers who got up early scored higher than evening people in terms of persistence, proactivity, and cooperation.
- Night persons were found to defer jobs more than morning people. A 1997 study by Joseph Ferrari et al linked procrastination to people who did a number of activities in the evening.
- Sleep loss and emotional distress might be experienced by evening types who force themselves to wake up early and perform at their best during the day. Night-time preferences might make life harder for owls due to this disconnect between conventional daytime expectations and night-time preferences. This makes them generally unhappy. Compared to night people, morning people had higher positivity across the board, according to a study.
- It is evidently advantageous to match someone's chronotype with their lifestyle. However, the occasional mismatch shouldn't be a deal breaker. Psychologists Mareike Wieth and Rose Zacks conducted a study in 2011 that found that it might even lead to some creativity.
- It is more effective to live in sync with your body's natural circadian rhythms rather than fighting your chronotype. Having said that, you can change your sleep patterns. In order to achieve this, you need to follow a strict sleep schedule and stay away from light at the wrong times, but it also requires wholehearted commitment and discipline.
There's more to sleeping schedules than personal preferences. They're rooted in your biological predispositions. Whether you are a morning person or a night owl, chances are that it could be difficult to change that habit. Of course, if the situation demands, people make an effort and can transform into the other.
Whether you are a morning or a night person, you should feel obliged to indulge in the type that you want to be.