You probably already know which camp of birds you fall into; if you have any doubt, you can take a quiz to find out. And while knowing one way or the other may not make that much of a difference if you are tied to a strict schedule, knowledge can at least make life more clear. Working with your chronotype can lead to better productivity and better sleep, potentially even eliminating the need for sleep aids and other assorted quick fixes. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Know that some who experience insomnia may be suffering from circadian-rhythm abnormality.
If you are an owl and can shift your work hours to later in the day, you will likely be more productive.
If you are an owl and can’t switch your schedule around, try to be strategic about light exposure: Professor Till Roenneberg of Ludwig-Maximilians University tell the BBC, "You should try to go to work not in a covered vehicle but on a bike. The minute the sun sets we should use things that have no blue light, like computer screens and other electronic devices."
Larks looking to shift their sleeping to later can try spending time outside in the afternoon or early evening, as well as increasing general evening activity. Also try sleeping with black-out drapes.
Owls are advised to sleep with blinds or curtains open, and let daylight do the job of an alarm clock.
If you're a lark and are able to nap, optimal napping time is around 1:00 p.m. or 1:30 p.m.
If you're an owl, your afternoon napping window for ultimate rejuvenation is 2:30 p.m. or 3:00 p.m.
Don’t get mad at sleepyhead teens. Research shows that late sleeping of the teen set is a real thing. Kids sleep later and later throughout childhood and reach peak lateness at 19 and a half for women and 21 for men.
Are you an early bird or a night owl? Do you have tricks to help cope with a life that doesn't match your bird style?