General, Research, Technology

What chronotypes exist besides "owls" and "larks"?

Depending on the daily routine, people usuallydivided into two types - "owls" and "larks". If a person goes to bed after midnight and wakes up only for dinner, then he belongs to the "owls". If he is used to going to bed at about 10 pm and gets up easily in the morning without an alarm clock, he is an exemplary "lark". These features of the daily rhythms of humans and animals are called chronotypes... Many people know only two chronotypes, butthere are actually three of them. And some researchers are generally inclined to believe that there are many more chronotypes in the world, about seven. Within the framework of this article, I propose to figure out what chronotypes exist and how you can determine what type of people you are.

In addition to "owls" and "larks", there are also "pigeons"

Interesting fact: choronotypes are also found in animals. For example, in fruit flies, which are often used in scientific experiments.

What are the chronotypes?

For the first time, scientists started talking seriously about the existence of chronotypes around 1970. Already in those days, three chronotypes were identified with the following features:

  • "Larks" who go to bed early and wake up easily in the morning even without an alarm clock. They are usually productive in the morning and become less energetic in the afternoon;
  • "Owls", who go to bed after midnight and wake up only after 9 am. The peak of their activity is in the evening and at night;
  • "Pigeons" which are somewhere in between the types mentioned above. They go to bed a few hours before midnight and wake up a couple of hours later than larks.

But German scientists believe that there are seven chronotypes in the world. They provide a more accurate definition of people with different daily routines. If you stick to their point of view, the list will look like this:

  • weak late, moderately late and extremely late chronotypes that can be considered subtypes of "owls";
  • extremely early and moderately early chronotypes - subtypes of larks;
  • weak early and normal chronotypeswhich are referred to as "pigeons".

The need to allocate additionalchronotypes were necessary because in the course of the surveys some people could not 100% identify themselves as any of the three types. Some people consider themselves "larks", but wake up not at 6 am, but somewhere around 4 - they clearly belong to an extremely early chronotype. Or, for example, many "owls" do not lie down completely, but towards morning - this is an extremely late chronotype.

See also: What is sleep paralysis?

The influence of the chronotype on life

At an early age, almost all people are"Larks". Remember your childhood - you probably went to bed at 9 pm. But over time, the chronotype of many people changes, and if a person went to bed early in childhood, with age he begins to go to bed later. This is mainly due to the fact that social life requires it. The rhythm of modernity is best suited for larks and pigeons, because people usually work in the morning and afternoon and relax in the evening. Such conditions are most difficult for "owls" who have to get up early and be invigorated with coffee. Apparently, this is why they have relatively poor health, because they often do not get enough sleep and abuse coffee.

The morning of "owls" is almost never complete without coffee

In 2012, chronobiologist Til Renneberg announced,that "owls" and "larks" people are born, not become. And the fact that it is easier for a person to wake up after 9 in the morning does not mean that he is lazy. He also noted that the rhythm of life, which does not coincide with the chronotype of a person, has a bad effect on his health. But at the moment, no one is going to pay attention to this and each person is obliged to get up early and work during daylight hours. However, "owls" have the opportunity to work the night shift - it is easier for them than for larks.

We inherited chronotypes from our ancestors

It is believed that we got the chronotypes from ourdistant ancestors. The fact is that when they lived in caves, predators could attack them at night. Therefore, a group of primitive people could not sleep together - some of them stayed awake while the rest were resting. After resting, the first replaced the second. This necessity has become such an integral part of life that it has been preserved almost at the genetic level.

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Whatever chronotype a person belongs to, herest is very important. And scientists think we should all get some rest during the day. In 2019, my colleague Lyubov Sokovikova talked about how naps have a good effect on heart health. But this does not apply to people over 65 - they are better off sleeping more at night. You can read more about this research in this article.