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alarm clockAs someone who has naturally woken at 10 am since I was a tiny tot (you’re welcome, mom!), I’m a big defender of those who have never caught–or wanted–a worm of any kind, except under duress and two alarm clocks. I’m good with this. But our culture, not so much. People make the moral argument for morning people all the time, the implication being that those who rise when there’s a little more shine are somehow lazy or deficient. Yawn.

So I was happy to come across some neat facts in this great article on Divine Caroline about the actual biological differences between morning folks and later-morning people. For example,

“Studies have indicated that self-described morning people have shorter circadian rhythms than self-identified night owls. This means that morning people sleep through their peak hour of sleepiness, so they wake up feeling refreshed. Evening types usually wake up right around their peak hour of sleepiness, so they may have high levels of melatonin and feel groggy. No wonder it’s tough to rouse them.

Hormones and body temperature also differ between the sleep groups. Early birds have higher levels of cortisol in the morning, which may give them the perky edge. Body temperature tends to be low in the morning, peaks in the late afternoon, and decreases until bedtime. Early risers have a body temperature peak around 3:30 p.m., while night owls are hottest around 8 p.m.”

And apparently studies show there may also be differences in personality traits–and no, it’s not lazy vs. on-it, but “logical and analytical” vs. “intuitive and imaginative.” Interesting, no?

Which are you? A proud tweeter or a devoted hooter? Or somewhere in between?  

Read the whole article on sleep patterns.

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