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Science & Technology

'Night owls' struggle more than 'morning larks'

By T.K. Randall
February 15, 2019 · Comment icon 9 comments



Are you a night owl or a morning lark ? Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Juanedc
A new study has found that people who naturally stay up late have a harder time sticking to a 9-5 schedule.
If you are someone who likes to stay up late at night and to sleep in until well after sunrise, you are certainly not alone - however according to new research lead by an Australian neuroscientist, you could be disadvantaged when it comes to staying on schedule during the working day.

The study found that night owls have lower brain connectivity than morning larks, leading to poorer concentration and increased sleepiness when attempting to conform to a typical 9-5 work schedule.

"This mismatch between a person's biological time and social time - which most of us have experienced in the form of jet lag - is a common issue for night owls trying to follow a normal working day," said study lead author Elise Facer-Childs.
"Our study is the first to show a potential intrinsic neuronal mechanism behind why 'night owls' may face cognitive disadvantages when being forced to fit into these constraints."

There is even reason to indicate that people who stay up late may have a lower life expectancy.

"A typical day might last from 9am to 5pm, but for a night owl, this could result in diminished performance during the morning... and increased daytime sleepiness," said Facer-Childs.

"If, as a society, we could be more flexible about how we manage time, we could go a long way towards maximizing productivity and minimizing health risks."

Source: Live Science | Comments (9)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Seti42 4 years ago
I read (I think at IFLScience.com) that we may have evolved to have differing sleep patterns so that someone is always up and alert at any time to keep watch. Life was dangerous 24/7 for most of humanity's history, after all. That said, I find the 9-5 schedule forced upon us to be unnatural. Thankfully, there are SOME jobs for night people. I usually work noon-8 for example. Sadly, though most career-path jobs stick to that 9-5 schedule that many do not like.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Herr Falukorv 4 years ago
9 - 5 would be a dream come true.. Here in sweden its 7-16
Comment icon #3 Posted by aztek 4 years ago
early bird gets the worm.  
Comment icon #4 Posted by Robin_Shadowes 4 years ago
I hate morning larks. Welcome to my side. The dark side. I can't stand daylight. The night is so much better.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Habitat 4 years ago
Morning people do seem to be the healthiest. 
Comment icon #6 Posted by AllPossible 4 years ago
I wake up, drink espresso, go back too sleep
Comment icon #7 Posted by InconceivableThoughts 4 years ago
Ive always called this my body clock and in my opinion is completely adaptable to ones situation. Meaning its ones choice to be a night owl or a early bird. So again in my opinion this study is bogus because its obvious that if someone stayed up all night and tried to go to work at 9 am they wouldnt function aswell as someone with a full nights sleep. Its called sleep deprivation.  Its science but its not rocket science. No study needed...
Comment icon #8 Posted by Essan 4 years ago
I can't understand people lazing in bed when it's daylight     
Comment icon #9 Posted by spud the mackem 4 years ago
I.M.O. this thread is rubbish,  I worked shifts for 36 years , 6 weeks on nights, 2 weeks on days ,and 2 weeks on evenings . I have been retired for 21 years and don't have any sleep patterns , when I tire I go to bed and manage at least 6 hours sleep then get up and do all the chores including shopping without any ill effects. Todays people have it easy as we worked a 48 hour week , not a 9 to 5, 40 hour week. And when I was at sea we worked a 9 hour day 7 days a week and enjoyed every minute of it.


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