General, Research, Technology

Who works better: "owls" or "larks"?

According to the daily routine, people are usually divided into "owls" and"Larks". The former feel a surge of vivacity at night, so they go to bed late and prefer to wake up later. The latter feel best during the day, so they go to bed early and get up just as early. It just so happened that modern life is more tailored to the larks: most companies start working before 9:00 in the morning, which is not a very convenient time for owls. They come to work sleepy more often than others and, accordingly, work worse. This sounds logical, but is it really so? Finnish scientists started looking for an answer to this question, and for this they studied personal data on thousands of Finns. Now I will tell you what conclusions they came to during the study.

Frame from the animated series "The Simpsons"

Most productive people

The results of the scientific work done werepublished in the scientific journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine. To find out how sleep patterns affect people's productivity, scientists examined the Northern Finland Birth Cohort database. It contains information about 12,058 people who were born in 1966. When the participants turned 46 years old, they completed a survey, where they indicated information about work success, health and daily routine. It is thanks to all this data that one can find out how the habits of owls and larks affect their productivity and health.

Sleep patterns have a significant impact on productivity at work. Especially in the modern world

It is important to note, that as a result, only2672 men and 3159 women. Indeed, not all of these people had a permanent place of work, and it is unlikely that each participant agreed to fill out the questionnaire.

As expected, owls were lessmore productive during the day than early risers. Moreover, most of them had more health problems and a tendency to be alone. It's not hard to guess that this is all a consequence of not getting enough sleep. The information varies from source to source, but owls usually go to bed after midnight, so they need to get up at around 9 a.m. Larks go to bed at about 10:00 pm and get up at 6:00 am. But at the same time, both of them are forced to be at work by 9 o'clock, so owls often suffer from lack of sleep, and larks do not experience any special problems.

The harm of lack of sleep

Not getting enough sleep has a lotnegative consequences. Scientists have long found that sleep deprivation increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, including deadly heart attacks and strokes. Also, people with lack of sleep are more likely to have high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus and decreased immunity. Do not forget about the tendency to obesity, because often owls are late for work and are forced to eat fast food. We have written about the dangers of such food many times. There is an article that says that fast food increases the risk of infertility.

Lack of sleep can lead to many health problems

The authors of the study once again recalledthat employers should take into account the chronotype of each employee and use this data for scheduling work. Everyone would benefit from this. First, people with sleep deprivation would have the opportunity to improve their health. Secondly, companies might notice how the productivity of people has increased after the changes introduced. But not everyone is ready to take into account chronotypes yet. Most of our planet is on the side of the larks.

See also: Reasons to spend more time alone with yourself

The advantage of working remotely

However, during the coronavirus pandemic, manyemployees were transferred to a remote location. By working from home, people do not need to spend time and money on the road. Consequently, owls have the opportunity to rest the necessary time, and larks can use the free time for personal pursuits. Some companies are already seriously considering leaving all their employees remote, because the pros often outweigh the cons. After all, in addition to all the advantages available, employers do not need to pay rent for offices.

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It should be noted that in addition to owls and larks, amongthere are also pigeons. This is the name of the chronotype, in which a person lies down closer to midnight and gets up only a little later than the larks. That is, pigeons are a cross between two main chronotypes. But even these chronotypes can be divided into several subspecies. I wrote more about this in here. The topic is very interesting and informative, so I recommend reading it!

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