Stories, thoughts, observations, rants and dribble. Just another of my attempts to keep the interested people informed ...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Finally, vindication!

Anybody who has ever had to live with me or make an appointment with me early in the morning knows that I am not a morning person.  No matter how much it would improve my standard of life, I just can't go to bed early, even if I have to get up a few hours later.  I have real trouble going to sleep before midnight, and even when I have to get up at 8am (or before), I'm usually falling asleep between 1am and 2am.  When left to my own devices, I stay up until the sun rises, and then feel guilty and go to sleep (usually until sometime in the early, or late, afternoon).

I came across a link to a study today that shows that being an early bird is not necessarily better at all.  The study showed that while attention levels were about the same for early birds and night owls 1.5 hours after waking up, night owls performed quite a lot better than their early rising counterparts 10.5 hours after waking.  This only confirms what I suspected, though.  My boss is an early riser, and he's quite often quite useless when it comes to about 5pm.  I'm still wide awake until not long before I go to bed.  (Though it does say that early birds feel more rested more easily, which also correlates with my experience.)

There was no real difference between the early birds and the night owls in their performance on the morning test. But the evening test was a different story: night owls were less sleepy and had faster reaction times than early birds. (Just to emphasize, 'evening' was a relative term: it was a different actual time for each group, but the exact same 10.5-hours-after-waking for both early birds and night owls.) So even though both groups were sleeping and waking according to their preferred schedule, night owls generally outlasted early birds in how long they could stay awake and mentally alert before becoming mentally fatigued. 

So, early birds on high horses, you can climb on down now. 

Original post sent via email to Wendebulous

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