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Feel Guilty for Sleeping Late? Don’t

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The early bird may get the worm, but the night owl goes the distance, tiring less quickly and staying cleverer later into their day, new research into the lives of different kinds of sleepers shows.

Previous studies have demonstrated that whether we get up late or early appears to be written into our DNA, with body clocks regulated by a series of genes that determine the healthiest time for us to rest and rise, the Mail Online reports.

In the latest study, scientists explored the reaction and attention times of both night owls and morning larks. Volunteers got up and went to bed at their usual times, with the larks tending to hit the sack four hours earlier than the owls.

Both groups performed similarly well at the task given shortly after getting up. But 10 hours into the day, those who went to sleep later were both quicker and more alert at the task, the journal Science reports.

It is well established that people who do not get the amount of sleep their bodies require generally perform worse at their jobs, suffer poorer health and can lead more disordered lives.

Taken together, the collection of sleep studies suggests that the industrial age, with its strict demand that the majority of workers conform to the early clock, deeply disadvantages certain types of people while keeping them from reaching their full potential in the performance of high-level tasks throughout the day.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

Mail Online:

Despite being awake for the same length of time, the larks felt sleepier, with scans showing that the parts of their brains linked to attention were less active.

Dr Philippe Peigneux, of the University of Liege in Belgium, said: ‘During the evening session, evening types were less sleepy and tended to perform faster than morning types.’

… Night owls have been shown to be cleverer than larks, with quicker minds and better memories. They also earn more.

Famous night owls include Charles Darwin, Adolf Hitler and Winston Churchill, who regularly went to bed at 4am and rose late. Due to his sleeping patterns, he often hosted War Cabinet meetings in his bath.

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Source: http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/feel_guilty_for_sleeping_late_dont_20130728/


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