Are you more of a morning lark or a night owl? According to a recent study published in the journal Emotion, people who habitually wake up early may have more to smile about than those who stay up late. They are reportedly happier and more alert than those who don’t get out of bed until after 11 in the morning.
To determine which of the two lead happier lives, researchers recruited two groups for the study. The first group was composed of 435 people between the ages of 17 and 38, while the second group was filled with 300 older volunteers aged 59 to 79. They were then asked to answer a questionnaire that measured their level of happiness as well as their preferred time of day among others.
Results revealed that less than 1 in 10 members of the younger group were morning larks, while most in the more mature group tended to be early risers. This suggests that people’s habits change over time. Researchers also found that older people tended to have more positive emotions. Ms. Biss, a PhD student in the university’s Department of Psychology, believes that this is due to the lack of social jetlag. Early risers tend to be happier because their body clock is attuned to the normal schedule of social activities.
In this day and age, however, night owls sometimes can’t help but be night owls. Job opportunities are no longer restricted to a rigid nine-to-five schedule. If you’re more awake at night, you may have to exert more effort to sustain positive emotions.
[Click here for tips on staying positive.]
(Photo by Matthew Bowden via sxc.hu)