If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool night owl, changing your daily rhythm may not be possible. But borrowing a couple of habits from the early birds could help you stay healthier.
Are you a lark or an owl? Larks are the early-to-bed, early-to-rise types: They tend to feel more energized and focused early in the day and enjoy turning in early. Owls, on the other hand, don’t really hit their stride until later in the day. Left to their own devices, they are happy to stay up until the wee hours and then sleep the morning away.The tendency to be a night owl or an early bird isn’t something that we have a lot of control over. Although lifestyle, culture, and habit can certainly play a role in when you get up and go to bed, the tendency toward “morningness” or “eveningness” (as it’s called in the medical literature) is largely a genetic predisposition.
Unfortunately for the night owls, our society seems to have been scheduled by the early birds. Standard school and business hours generally start just a few hours after sun up—and several hours before your typical night owl wants to be up and about. As a result, night owls tend to get less sleep than early birds, and suffer from all of the health risks that go along with that.
If you have strong owl tendencies, arranging your schedule so that you can work later in the day might make your life a lot easier. However, there are a couple of other things you may want to watch out for, as well.