According to scientists, there are 4 types of people when it comes to sleep schedules. But do they differ in any other ways?
Recent findings suggest there are actually 4 sleep types: early birds (also called "larks"); night owls; and two other types that we're calling "hummingbird" and "sleepy bird." (If you're wondering which one you are, fly over to our earlier post to discover your sleep type).
Most research over the past few decades, though, has simply separated people into two groups: "morning types" and "evening types." But how are they different? Other than seeing more sunrises than midnights (or vice versa), are there any real personality differences between the two groups? According to a number of studies**: Yes, actually. And those differences might surprise you.
Other than seeing more sunrises than midnights (or vice versa), are there any real personality differences between the two groups? According to a number of studies: yes, actually. And they might surprise you.
Morning types tend to be more persistent; proactive; agreeable; and conscientious. They procrastinate less, cooperate more, and may be less vulnerable to substance abuse.
Evening types tend to be slightly more intelligent; have larger incomes; have sex with more people; drink more; smoke more; and have more "novelty-seeking" personalities.
Before you go crowing about your type, though, consider these extra interesting tidbits:
There seem to be no health differences between morning and evening types; and
Both types may show more creativity during their "off-hours" (mornings for night owls, evenings for larks).
So what's the takeaway from all this?
Well, as far as we can tell, the key to maximizing happiness may just be this: no matter what kind of bird you are, get the sleep you need when you need it. Do the difficult stuff when you feel most awake, if you can. And don't beat yourself up if you're feeling sleepy - it happens to everyone, just at different times!
Now, go take a nap.
**Here are just a few of these studies:
Richard D Roberts, Patrick C Kyllonen, Morningness–eveningness and intelligence: early to bed, early to rise will likely make you anything but wise!1, Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 27, Issue 6, December 1999, Pages 1123-1133
Mareike B. Wieth & Rose T Zacks 2011. Time of day effects on problem solving: When the non-optimal is optimal. Thinking & Reasoning Volume 17: Issue 4. Pgs 387-401.
Renee Biss & Lynn Hasher 2012. Happy as a lark: Morning-type younger and older aduts are higher in positive affect. Emotion Volume 12: Issues 3. Pgs. 437-441.
JF Diaz-Moralez, JR Rerrari & JR Cohen 2008. Indecision and avoidant procrastination: the role of morningness-eveningness and time perspective in chronic delay lifestyles. J Gen Psychol Volume 135: Issue 3. Pgs. 228-240.
Christoph Randler 2009. Proactive people are morning people. J Applied Psych Volume 9 December 2009.
Christoph Randler 2008. Morningness-eveningness, sleep-awake variables and big five personality factors. Personality and Individual Differences Volume 45: Issue 2. Pgs 191-196.
Ana Adan, Judit Lachica, Herve Caci & Vincenzo Natale. Circadian typology and temperament and character personality dimensions. Chronobiology International Volume 27: Issue 1. Pgs. 181-193.