Are Morning People Happier? Recent research from Emotion February 2012 and summarized here in the Barking Up the Wrong Tree blog by Eric Barker, February 17, 2012, suggests that this is indeed the case.
Biological Clocks: Larks, Owls and Hummingbirds [L]eft to our natural devices, we would eat, sleep and drink (along with many more biological functions) not when we decide to, but when our biological clock tells us to. Only cultural norms and the alarm clock give us the pretense of choice by overriding our inner rhythms — and there is increasing evidence that we are paying a high cost in terms of our health. according to Leon Kreitzman in this opinion piece from The New York Times, April 21, 2009
Bowing to Body Clocks, N.B.A. Teams Sleep In Three basketball teams, the Boston Celtics, the San Antonio Spurs and the Portland Trail Blazers have dropped the traditional early morning shoot-around in favor of research on body clocks which suggests that a better night's sleep will help players more than an additional practice the morning after a big game. By Howard Beck, New York Times, December 19, 2009.
Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders An online tutorial from PsychNet-UK.
'Evening' Kids More Likely To Have Behavioral Problems From the summary: Pre-teen kids who preferred to indulge in more activities in the evenings, than in the mornings, are likely to experience more behavioral issues, including undesirable conduct, attention disorders and breaking rules, during adolescence.
Evening-type College Students On Early Daytime Class Schedules At A Disadvantage Eveningness is associated with not only later phases of a person's sleep-wake cycle, but also with sleep irregularities, more pronounced sleep restriction during the week, and higher sleep compensation on weekends. Evening type college students may, therefore, need a sleep education that helps them adjust to imposed morning schedules, and would probably benefit from later class schedules, according to a research abstract that [was] presented on June 10 at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS) by Ana A. Gomes.
Examples These excerpts from Chapter 5 of The Body Clock Guide by Michael Smolensky and Lynne Lamberg provide a readable overview of these two types of personalities and give interesting examples of people (e.g. Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams) who are one type or the other.
From the Beginning, the Brain Knows the Difference Between Night and Day The brain is apparently programmed from birth to develop the ability to determine sunrise and sunset, [according to] new research on circadian rhythms by August Kampf-Lassin and Brian Prendergast and summarized here in Science Daily, April 28, 2011.
Genetics Press release summary of a research article suggesting a genetic marker for morningness-eveningness.
Life's Extremes: Early Bird vs. Night Owls A good overview of circadian rhythm and the chronotypes of morning larks and night owls including genetic influences and sleep-phase disorders. From LiveScience, October 2, 2011, by Adam Hadhazy.
Morningness is a predictor of better grades in college. Morningness is a predictor of better grades in college, according to a research abstract that [was] presented on June 9 at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS) by Kendry Clay.
Morning People Are Actually Happier Than Night Owls Not only are morning types happier than night owls during the teen and young adulthood, but they are also happier in older adulthood as well. This, according to a study by Renee Biss and summarized here in LiveScience, June 11, 2012.
Obesity and the Biological Clock: When Times Are out of Joint Urgent appointments, tight work timetables and hectic social schedules structure modern life, and they very often clash with our intrinsic biological rhythms. The discrepancy results in so-called social jetlag, which can damage one's health. Among other effects, it can contribute to the development of obesity, according to a new study published in Current Biology and summarized here in Science Daily, May 10, 2012.
The Risks of Night Work Millions of American workers fight against their circadian clocks every day, putting them — and others in their paths — in danger. Read about the latest research on the problem of and solutions for working against our circadian clocks in this this article from the APA Monitor by Michael Price, January 2011, Volume 42(1), p. 38.
Sleep deprivation may be undermining teen health Research suggests that Lack of sufficient sleep--a rampant problem among teens--appears to put adolescents at risk for cognitive and emotional difficulties, poor school performance, accidents and psychopathology. Read this summary by Siri Carpenter in the APA Monitor on Psychology, Volume 32, No. 9 from October 2001.
Sleepiness in Teens. Not Just a Side Effect of Growing Up Evidence suggests that teenagers have a later sleep-wake cycle than children, which explains why they are not tired until as late as 11 or 12 p.m. Yet, the scheduling of many high schools forces teens to rise earlier than they had to in elementary school. So how are teens getting the 9 hours of sleep per night that they need? They're not. Read about what some schools are doing to re-adjust their schedules to the erratic circadian cycles of teenagers on this website of the American Sleep Foundation.
Sleep type predicts day and night batting averages of Major League Baseball players According to research presented by Christopher Winter at the Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, baseball players who are morning larks have a higher batting average than night owls for day games, but lower averages for night games.
Snooze Control: Fatigue, Air Traffic and Safety Richard R. Bootzin presented his paper If Sleep is So Important, Why Do We Get So Little of It? at the 23rd Annual APS Convention earlier this month. Read about his work inspired by some recent notable near-misses of aircraft due to fatigued air traffic controllers. The problem is not with individuals but with the recovery time between shifts for shift workers according to this summary from Science Daily, April 25, 2011.
What Personality Traits Do Night Owls Have? Morning types are more concrete, logical, introverted and self-controlled. Evening types are more creative, risk-taking, independent and impulsive according to this brief summary taken from Richard Wiseman's book "59 Seconds: Change Your Life in Under a Minute. From the Barking Up the Wrong Tree'' blog by Eric Barker, February 26, 2012.
Who Put the Lag in Jet Lag? Leon Kreitzman, an authority on questions of the body clock, like why jet lag happens and why teenagers aren’t lazy just because they sleep late. in this opinion piece from The New York Times, February 17, 2009.
Assignments, Exercises, and Activities
Examples and Illustrations
Tests, Measures, and Scales
Morningness-Eveningness Scale Adapted from: Horne, J. A. & Ostberg, O., (1976). A Self Assessment Questionnaire to Determine Morningness-Eveningness in Human Circadian Rhythms, International Journal of Chronobiology, 4, 97-110.
Audio and Video