People are divided into larks, owls and pigeons depending on their sleep patterns and level of daily activity. The former go to bed early (at 8-10 pm) and wake up early (at 5-7 am), the latter wake up late and fall asleep after midnight. Pigeons are an intermediate option. Scientists have found out how the above individual characteristics affect productivity and health in old age.
Scientists from Finland believe that people with the evening chronotype are half as productive at work as those for whom the morning chronotype is characteristic. In addition, owls end their careers earlier due to health conditions.
Scientists conducted a study to assess the productivity of the first two categories, as well as their health status in old age.
To obtain information, the experts used information from a study called NFBC 1966. It involved 12,058 children born in 1966. When the volunteers turned 46 years old, they filled out questionnaires in which they indicated the characteristics of their lifestyle, as well as their state of health and well-being. The final stage of the study involved 3159 women and 2672 men. In 2012, all the participants worked. For the next four years, the organizers of the study monitored the volunteers to find out which of them retired and how their health changed.
During this time, 17 participants died, and 84 became pensioners. Scientists also found that the health indicators of people with the evening chronotype were worse than those of the morning chronotype. Owl indicators were inferior not only in health, but also in other parameters. Owls turned out to be less productive, more often faced with layoffs and family problems. In addition, owls were more likely to retire due to poor health and even disability.
According to scientists, this trend is associated with the accumulation of lack of sleep in owls. Larks tend to go to bed and fall asleep early and have enough time to get enough sleep before the start of the day. Owls fall asleep late, but have to get up early for work, so they often feel sleep deprivation, which they try to compensate for on weekends. However, sleep patterns often go astray.
The chronotype is formed to a greater extent even at the gene level and to a lesser extent – under the influence of the environment. Experts recommend not changing it, but adjusting your regime so that you can get enough sleep.