Have you ever thought that you don't fit either pattern; that you're neither a morning nor evening person? Even in good health, maybe you feel sluggish most of the time, or conversely, perhaps you feel high energy in the morning and evening. If so, you'll relate to a new study published by Arcady Putilov and his colleagues at the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The researchers invited 130 healthy people (54 men) to a sleep lab and kept them awake for just over 24 hours. The participants were asked to refrain from coffee and alcohol, and several times during their stay they filled out questionnaires about how wakeful or dozy they were feeling. They also answered questions about their sleep patterns and wakeful functioning during the preceding week.
The researchers also identified two further chronotypes. There was a "high energetic" group of 25 people who reported feeling relatively sprightly in both the morning and evening; and a "lethargic" group of 32 others, who described feeling relatively dozy in both the morning and evening. Unlike the Owls and Larks, these two groups didn't show differences in terms of their time to bed and time of waking - their habits tended to lie mid-way between the Larks and Owls.
We already have bird names for morning and evening people - Owls and Larks. Part of the title of this new paper is "A search for two further 'bird species'". I was hoping the authors might propose two new bird names for their high energy and lethargic categories, but sadly they don't. What about Swift for the high energy category? I'm not sure about a lethargic bird. It's over to you - any ideas? [Readers on Twitter have so far proposed Dodo and Pelican].
Putilov, A., Donskaya, O., & Verevkin, E. (2015). How many diurnal types are there? A search for two further “bird species” Personality and Individual Differences, 72, 12-17 DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2014.08.003
Owls get poorer school grades than larks
Early risers are more proactive than evening people
Post written by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.