If the only moment of the day you can enjoy before 11am is death-staring a puppy-eyed morning person then it’s time to celebrate.
We’ve always known night owls are (or at least, like to think they are) smarter and more creative than their irritatingly positive counterparts. However it turns out that all those podcast-filled nights, Youtube binges and (for the Hunter S. Thompson wannabes of the world) booze, literature and cocaine addled hot-tub benders, come at a price.
A recent study conducted by a UK University asked 433,268 participants, from 38 to 73 years old, if they considered themselves ‘night owls’ or ‘morning larks’. Deaths in the sample were tracked up to six and half years later, revealing that those who liked to stay up late had a 10% higher chance of dying. This led Kristen Knutson, the author of the study, to conclude that “Night owls trying to live in a morning lark world may have health consequences for their bodies.”
“The scientists adjusted for the expected health problems in owls and still found the 10 percent higher risk of death”, said Science Daily. As for potential solutions; morning-haters are in for a pleasant surprise. Malcolm von Schantz, a professor of chronobiology at the University of Surrey suggested, “We should discuss allowing evening types to start and finish work later, where practical.”
Although you can try to change it; your biological clock takes more than an alarm (or seven) to reset. In fact there’s research out there that suggests a person’s internal time-keeping system would keep running even they were removed from the world and hidden away in a dark cave.
If you really want to reset your body-clock there are strategies to try, but they are by no means guaranteed to work. A much better option would be to embrace it, ask your boss for flexible hours and if they resist—point to the mounting scientific evidence that suggests a flexible schedule is a far more productive one.
So there you have it: the problem isn’t your sleep pattern, it’s the world.