If you are a “morning person”, then in the morning you feel that you can turn mountains, and as the day tends to evening, your energy runs out. You like to go to bed early and get up with the first roosters, but the lights of the night city do not attract you at all. Whatever you plan: a yoga lesson at 5:30, a meeting with a business partner at 8:00 – you are ready for anything before the alarm rings. And how annoying you are the “owls” that even a double espresso cannot wake up before noon!
It seems to you that being a lark is excellent. And this idea is confirmed by the results of recent studies on human chronotypes.
The longer the days when we were born, the more likely we are to be a lark
Biologists from the University of Manchester, led by Altug Didikoglu, found that our chronotype has a genetic basis. But, in addition, the season of our birthday can affect our preferences in the area of the daily routine. It turns out that the longer the days at the time when we were born, the more likely we are to be a lark. That is, if a person was born in the northern hemisphere in June, July or August, it is highly likely that he will become a fan of the early climbs.
At the same time, researchers are sure that being a lark is good for health, but owls should know that there is a certain connection between “nightlife” and affective disorders, metabolic disorders and cardiovascular diseases.
Our chronotypes are individual features of our circadian rhythms. Traditionally, in terms of chronotypes, people are divided into “larks”, “owls” and “pigeons”. “Larks” get up at 4-6: 00 and go to bed at 20-22: 00.
“Pigeons” wake up at 6-8: 00 a.m. and fall asleep at 22-00: 00. The peaks of their activity occur at 10-12: 00 and 16-18: 00, and from 13:00 to 14:00 they feel tired.
“Owls” get up after 8-10: 00 and lie down after 00:00. After 16:00 they are most productive.
Night falls, the refrigerator wakes up
Researchers believe that in the dark we are much more prone to indulging in bad habits: smoke breaks, drinking alcohol. The tradition of nighttime snacks does not bring anything good either. Earlier, scientists from the University of Surrey found that owls on average die earlier than larks.
Didikoglu and his colleagues were able to study in more detail the relationship between the chronotype, life expectancy and mental well-being. During the study, they not only found out when participants were sleeping and awake, but also took into account their eating habits, health status, and personality traits (most of the subjects provided data about themselves collected over the past 30 years).
The health of larks is much stronger: they move more, smoke less and take medicine, sleep better
It turned out that among lovers of the dark, social life was more intense. They more often than others talked and had fun. And this is understandable: parties and dinner parties take place mainly in the evenings!
But the health of those who prefer early rises turned out to be much stronger. It turned out that in general they move more, smoke less and take medicine, sleep better. But owls have a higher risk of hypertension and obesity. As for the possibility of getting sick with depression, it is approximately the same for owls and larks, but for those who are “in the middle” of the scale, it is lower.
Unfortunately, we cannot change our chronotype. But to know about the risks associated with the features of our sleep and wake cycles will never hurt.
Most productive time of the day
There is an easy way to become a little healthier, happier and more productive. If you fill the morning with interesting and useful things, waking up earlier will be easier. In the morning you can plan a jog or walk, any lesson on skype, time for a hobby or creativity. By evening, we usually get very tired and as a result do not learn anything new, do not improve, and do not find ten minutes to write at least a few lines.
Moreover, the work done in the morning gives us motivation for new achievements and the strength not to stop until the evening. So, morning activity in a sense makes us optimistic. Is it possible to try a new way of being, if only for the sake of such an effect?
Laura Vanderkam, author of The Magic Morning. How the beginning of the day can change your life ”, gives tips that will help you find the time in the morning for any interesting lesson or ritual.
1. Track how much time and what you spend
In order to change habits in the future, you need to know how they look in the present, so keep a table in the spirit of a food diary. Record how much time you spend in the morning on hygiene, cooking, and collecting children for school. Based on the information received, you can adjust your habits.
Perhaps you have been gathering children for too long, looking in the morning for your daughter’s favorite dress and son’s right shoe. Preparing their clothes in advance, you can carve out precious minutes for more pleasant things.
2. Imagine your perfect morning
Once you understand what time is taking, ask yourself what you would like to change. Someone wants to spend the early hours at an unhurried breakfast with their loved ones, and after everyone leaves the house, set aside 15 minutes for your blog. Someone dreams of 10 minutes of physical exercise before going to work. Someone would like to set aside time to search for new creative ideas, knitting or brainstorming. There are many ideas – choose the one that you like.
3. Think about how to bring the plan to life.
If your time is limited in the morning, you won’t be able to cut out 15 minutes for a blog just like that. So, you have to act on the clock – and it is desirable that all the items you need are at hand, and the probability of force majeure is minimized.
Think about what you need to bring the plan to life. What time do you need to go to sleep? Will you need help to free up the morning hours? Will I need to purchase a sports simulator to perform simple exercises? A good plan is half the battle.
4. Create a habit
You will first have to turn on willpower. In order for a habit to form, it takes time and the iron confidence that you really need it. Laura Vanderkam advises getting used to the new regime gradually: do not immediately try to get up at 5:30 if you are used to doing it at 7:30. First, set the alarm at 7:15 for several days. Then you can transfer it to an even earlier time.
Take your time: it’s best to introduce habits one at a time. Encourage yourself with something pleasant: “give” yourself movie tickets, a welcome book or just a glass of coffee in a good coffee house for a run or work on complex embroidery. Later, when your habit begins to motivate you itself (for example, you will see the result of regular morning exercises in the face fitness in the mirror), the need for “bonuses” will disappear.
5. Adjust to the situation
Life does not stand still. Perhaps someday it will become difficult for you to run in the mornings. Or your work schedule will change. This means that rituals can also change – the main thing is that you find time on them.