Are you a Lark, Owl, or Hummingbird? The meaning of your sleep pattern
Some people love to wake up before the sunrise, while others prefer to burn candlelight and mute their morning alarms..
While it should be noted that for many of us, sleep preferences are the result of binding schedules (i.e. waking up early for work, for example), our timing to hit-the-hay can still tell us a lot about ourselves. By knowing and understanding our sleeping schedules, we can learn when to expect our peak performance moments, our post-lunch sleepies, feelings of incompetence at certain times of the day, and more. Although there are outliers, we've come to know of three, distinct types of sleeping schedules, which have been made synonymous with the Lark, Owl and Hummingbird.
In general, a Lark is a person who likes to wake up early and be productive, an Owl is a person who stays up late and gets creative insights at night, and a Hummingbird is someone who switches schedules regularly and doesn't feel any negative side effects. Now, let's dive deeper into what each of them mean.
The Lark sleep pattern
Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise, states the age-old adage from Ben Franklin (although this infamous claim has been disproved). Larks are people who have an underlying preference to wake up early in the morning and go to bed at a reasonable hour. They understand that business gets done before noon and they value breakfast as the most important meal of the day. There's a reason why complimentary breakfasts at hotels around the world end at like, 9:00 AM. They're catering to the Larks among us.
If the notion of an alarm clock is what deters you from considering yourself a Lark, don't write yourself off of this sleeping pattern just yet. Many of us have had traumatic experiences with blaring alarms that jolt us into a borderline heart attack, but some alarm clocks utilize gradual sound and light technology to gently wake you from your slumber. I recommend giving some of those a try, before opting out of the early-morniing club.
Some believe Larks are happier due to the increased amount of daylight (Vitamin D) they are exposed to, with their extended daytime existence. Larks are also known to be more proactive and cooperative, as found in one particular study. Morning people however, often find themselves falling short in the realm of mental sharpness, losing much of their ability to think clearly by mid afternoon. There's a reason why midday naps are so appealing!
The Owl sleep pattern
If you regularly find yourself up late at night doing work, or going out with friends and dreading the call of morning, you might be an Owl. Though not proven, some believe Owls might have a higher IQ than Larks, due to late night activities being an evolutionary novel behavior, and thus enacting our brain in ways not naturally intended.
Additionally, Owls are said to be more creative, due to the fact that staying up late may encourage a non-conventional spirit and the ability to find unique solutions to presented problems. If you're a music artist who writes their best content late night- then it's very possible that you're an Owl. Owls are however, more susceptible to addictive behaviors and have been observed to be less happy in life, which could be the result of getting less sunlight on a daily basis.
Just because you think you're an Owl or Lark, doesn't mean you shouldn't experiment to see if the other might be a better fit. Like I mentioned earlier though, many of our behaviors are based on our work schedules (unless you have the pleasure of making your own schedule and working from home, which isn't terribly difficult to achieve these days, if you know where to look), in which case, you might declare yourself one or the other by default. Now let's look at the third possible sleep pattern- the Hummingbird.
The Hummingbird sleep pattern
Hummingbird people have no set preference on what hours of the day they engage in the various activities of life. They could wake up early one morning to go on a hike with friends and then the next night go to a concert to see their favorite band, not getting home until 4:00 AM. According to one particular study, about 60% of people are hummingbirds- people who are in between Lark and Owl sleep patterns. If you find yourself on a changing schedule and no serious side effects like fatigue or sleep deprivation, you may very well be a hummingbird type person. Many successful people are Hummingbirds due to their relentless working around the clock, which is a forced behavior that they've adopted for themselves.
Knowing the type of sleep pattern you have, can help you better understand your times of strength and weakness throughout the day. If you know that waking up isn't your strong suite, make an effort to adjust your schedule to allow for more nighttime productivity. University students are great at this by enrolling in later classes to allow for late night focus sessions before an exam. Alternatively, some people love waking up before everyone else, using those early hours to plan the day out, so as to have a productive, fulfilling day. Some people (Hummingbirds) don't care when they sleep, and they have no negative side effects from switching their schedules around. Listen to your body and do more of what feels right, and you might just find yourself getting a little more out of your day.
If you enjoyed this Mod, you might also like to read about how to get more Vitamin D in your life. If you found this Mod insightful, please share it using the social media links below. Any questions or comments, let us know on Twitter!