Or are you neither?
Research suggests that our sleep patterns are partially genetically determined, just as our hair colour and heights are. They also partially depend on our exposure to light, as extremes in sleep patterns become less obvious if people sleep in darkened rooms with heavy curtains or black out blinds.
Some people are naturally morning people, or ‘larks’. They prefer to go to bed around 10pm and find getting up out of bed easily as soon as it becomes light outdoors. Morning people are at their best shortly after they’ve got out of bed so find the traditional work day suits them well.
Evening people, or ‘night owls’ prefer to stay up late into the night and don’t feel they need to go to bed until after midnight. Some ‘extreme’ night owls don’t get to bed until around dawn. They feel at their most energetic before they go to bed, and tend to need to sleep later in the morning. They often find getting up in time for a traditional day’s work a challenge. It’s not surprising that evening people find working a night shift suits their sleep patterns better than a day shift does.
Not everyone fits neatly into the Lark or Owl category. According to surveys, only15% of the population are morning people, 25% are evening people, and the remaining 60% are intermediates.