BAD NEWS FOR EARLY BIRDS
* You’re useless in the arvo. Early birds are up and at ’em before anyone, and are very productive in the morning, but they tend to flame out by the afternoon. Night owls stay alert longer than early risers before losing their mental stamina. So, don’t ask an early bird to do anything that requires sustained attention more than 10 hours after they wake up.
* You’re probably poorer. Although their lifestyle has plenty of drawbacks, night owls tend to be better off financially than their early-rising counterparts. Evening types show more of the kind of intelligence that is linked to prestigious jobs and more pay. Other research has shown that night owls display greater reasoning and analytical abilities.
* You’re more stressed. Researchers from the University of Westminster found in 1999 that getting up early was stressful to the body. It is more likely to lead to muscle aches, cold symptoms, headaches and bad moods. Analysis of the saliva of 42 volunteers found that the early risers had higher levels of the body’s main stress hormone, cortisol, than those who slept in.
GOOD NEWS FOR NIGHT OWLS
* You’re smarter. A study from 2009 by the London School of Economics and Political Science found people who were night owls were smarter. The thinking is that nocturnal activities were rare among our ancestors, so it took an intelligent person to break the genetic predisposition to go to bed with the sun. Because this is innovative for humans, the researchers concluded that it was the novel thinkers and the inquisitive who tended to do it.
* You’re great once you’ve warmed up. Early rises are alert first thing, but eventually late risers catch up. Early birds tend to flame out in the afternoon, but night owls get a late boost of energy and alertness later in the day.
* You’re in great company. Night owls keep some decidedly cool company. Take self-confessed night owl Barack Obama, scientist Charles Darwin, and rockers Keith Richards and Elvis Presley.
Just in case your mother always told you being nocturnal was a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad thing, here’s a few completely unbiased thoughts to the contrary from someone who, according to the research, is likely to be kind of evil, messing with my genes and probably fatter then I should be…
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