Today, we call these two preferences chronotypes, but recent evidence suggests there are at least two mToday, we call these two preferences chronotypes, but recent evidence suggests there are at least two more.ore.
While most people fall on either side of this ‘morningness-eveningness’ spectrum, a large-scale survey has now identified a couple further categories that exist somewhere in-between.
Not exactly a morning type or an evening type, the “napper” and the “afternoon” type are their own special breed, the study authors suggest.
Afternoon-ers are generally sleepy in the morning and the evening, with their alertness peaking somewhere between noon and evening. On the flip side, nappers are generally sleepy from 11 am to 3 pm, and wakeful in the mornings and evenings.Psychologists have been trying to tease out the complexities of this spectrum for years, and there is a growing body of evidence that suggests there are three or even four main chronotypes among humans.
Providing basic career and personal information, participants completed six questionnaire tools designed to determine a person’s basic morning-evening preference, their circadian rhythm, their quality of sleep, and their predicted wakefulness at random times throughout the day (on a scale of “extremely sleepy” to “extremely alert”).
Further, each of these questions assumed a normal night’s sleep and a wake-up time of 7:30 am.
Using statistical analyses, the researchers sorted these responses into four broad chronotypes with their own daily variations in sleepiness.
“One can unmistakably recognise the division of study participants into morning, evening, and two further types,” the authors write in their paper.
While some psychologists have predicted a hyper-alert, full-day chronotype, the new study didn’t find evidence for this. In post-industrial societies, the authors argue, the majority of people fall into one of the four distinct chronotypes mentioned above, with only 30 percent of participants evading categorization.
As revolutionary as the research might appear at first, it does come with some major limitations and caveats. One of the biggest ones is the absence of data comparing subjective and objective sleepiness. Another is the unequal representation of age and gender.
As such, the authors admit that further research will need to verify these four distinct sleepiness curves and figure out what biological, genetic, psychosocial, or environmental factors might influence their development.
- Feeling more productive in the morning
- Not having to set an alarm because they’re up anyway
- Someone who’s cheerful and chirpy with colleagues first thing in the morning
- Feeling like the day is ‘wasted’ by staying in bed past 9 am
- Never snoozing an alarm
- Getting an early night
- Someone who always has time for a proper breakfast
- Feeling most peaceful in the morning
- Someone who gets enough sleep
- Going to the gym before work.