Early Birds Are Happier Than Night Owls

bd3699 001 Early Birds Are Happier Than Night Owls

John Lamb/Getty Images

Years and years of doing morning radio shows didn’t make me a morning person. The second I stopped that shift I returned to night-owlish ways. Apparently we would all be happier of we could switch our internal clocks to waking up with the roosters.

A new study suggests that morning people aren’t just chipper as the sun is coming up; they are happier and more satisfied with life overall than night owls.

Past research has suggested that morning-type people report feeling happier than evening-type people,” study researcher Renee Biss, a graduate student at the University of Toronto, told LiveScience.

The study also suggests that as we age we tend to move from a night owl way of life to an early bird. Only 7 percent of young adults are early risers, however by age 60 only 7 percent of people are night owls.

“We found that older adults reported greater positive emotion than younger adults, and older adults were more likely to be morning-type people than younger adults,” Biss said. “The ‘morningness’ was associated with greater happiness emotions in both age groups.”

Early birds also tended to feel healthier. Researchers attribute this go getting better sleep. Morning people also are more alert, and have a better immune system than night owls.

“We don’t know why this is, but there are a few potential explanations. Evening people may be more prone to social jet lag; this means that their biological clock is out of sync with the social clock,” Biss said. “Society’s expectations are far more organized around a morning-type person’s schedule.”

Don’t worry night owls there is still hope for you. Researchers give some suggestions on turning from a night owl to an early bird. “One way to do it is to increase your natural light exposure early in the morning, and to wake up earlier and go to bed earlier,” Biss said. “It’s easiest if you have a consistent schedule, to make sure you are waking up at the same time every day.”

More from Jenny Q

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