Chronotypes: Owls or larks

Owls and larks - short text for reading

You probably know this from your friends and acquaintances: Some jump out of their feathers early in the morning and are fit as a fiddle. Others get into the top of their form only with gravest difficulties in the morning but are still productive late in the evening. For many years sleep researchers have distinguished between mainly these two chronotypes, which are often referred to as "larks" and "owls".

However, modern sleep research shows: The two bird metaphors do not do justice to the complexity of the matter. The wide variety of sleep-wake combinations is apparently greater than previously assumed. Based on experiments with test persons in 2014 Russian sleep researchers think to have discovered at least two further versions. According to this, there are people who are wide awake and able to perform both in the morning and in the evening, and there are those people who struggle with a certain lethargy at both times of the day.

Since the chronotype is practically given to us right from the cradle, adaptations to to our social environment or professional needs are difficult. One can come to terms with it, yes, but one does not become happy if one lives one's whole life against one's actual biorhythm.


Conclusion and recommendation:

We strongly advise you to adapt the social and professional environment to your chronotype - and not the other way around. This is not always easy, that is clear but it is worth it! Make use, for example, of flexitime regulations at the workplace or cancel evening appointments if they are too late for you. Lighting measures help late risers, for example, to better cope with getting up early (e.g. morning light exposure with high colour temperature and sufficient illuminance, i.e. very bright blue light).

Yours Dr. Fabian Krapf, letsleep expert