Are You a Lark, Owl, or Hummingbird?
Our sleep preferences say a lot about us. Some people love to wake up with the sunrise and sip coffee over a newspaper, while others prefer to burn candlelight and turn off their morning alarms..
While it should be noted that for many of us these preferences come as a result of binding schedules (i.e. waking up early for work), they can still tell us a lot about ourselves, such as when to expect our peak performance, or why we may feel incompetent at certain times of the day and not others. So which of the three are you- Lark, Owl or Hummingbird?
Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise, states the age old adage from Ben Franklin (although this claim was 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 value breakfast as the most important meal of the day.
If the notion of an alarm clock is what deters you from considering yourself a Lark, rest assured there are ways to overcome this. Many of us have had traumatic experiences with blaring alarms that jolt us into a borderline heart attack state, but some alarm clocks; like this one from Philips, utilize gradual sound and light technology to gently wake you from your slumber. I definitely recommend giving it a try!
Some believe Larks are happier due to the increased amount of daylight they are exposed to. Larks are also known to be more proactive and cooperative, as found in a 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.
If you regularly find yourself up late at night doing work, or going out with friends and dreading the morning alarm clock, you might consider yourself an Owl. Though not proven, some believe Owls might have higher IQ, due to late night activies 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 a problem. Owls are however, more susceptible to addictive behaviors and have been observed to be less happy in life.
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 clubbing to see their favorite DJ. According to one particular study, about 60% of people are hummingbirds, aka people who are in between Lark and Owl. If you find yourself on a changing schedule and no serious side effects of fatigue or sleep deprivation, you may very well be a hummingbird type person. Many succesful people are Hummingbirds due to their relentless working around the clock.
Knowing the type of person you are can help you better understand yourself. 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. Alternatively, if you love waking up before everyone else, take the time to plan each day the evening before, so you can wake up with a gameplan for the day.
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