Are you a ‘Lark’ or an ‘Owl’ ?
Are you an early-riser or an all-nighter?
Which sleep-wake pattern is better for your body?
Why is it that some people love mornings, and find it easy to be an early riser … ‘lucky Larks’? While others remain enjoy the night hours…’midnight Owls’.
Sleep researchers use the term chronotype. This refers to the usual time people retire in the evening, and awaken in the morning. There is a genetic component to our chronotype (the way in which we sleep and wake), and it is estimated that more than half the population in industrialized societies may have circadian rhythms (the master time clock in our body) that are horribly out of sync with the daily schedule that they keep. If you need to be up late at night, as a Restaurant Owner, it will be difficult for you, if your chronotype is a Lark! If you are cyclist, or an early morning Gym iInstructor, it would be tough if your chronotype is an Owl. You might be wondering whether it is better to be a Lark or an Owl?
The short answer is that neither is better, except for the fact that industrialized nations mostly run on an 8:00am to 5:00pm schedule, so Larks have an easier time conforming. On the other hand, the Owls (who are staying up late) often battle to get up early in the morning in time for an early time to start work. They can therefore be chronically sleep deprived, and they often develop a feeling termed called 'social jet lag'.
Whatever your chronotype, sleeping for 7 to 8 hours nightly is recommended for all adults. If you want to self-assess, in order to see whether you are genetically ‘coded’ as a Lark, or as an Owl…