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The Four Types of Sleep Schedules

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Lazy Bird and Hummingbird!

For a study forthcoming in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, biologist Arcady Putilov and his colleagues at the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences asked 130 people to stay awake for 24 hours. The subjects filled out questionnaires about how awake they felt, their sleep patterns, and how well they had functioned during the previous week.

The results showed that among them were 29 larks, who showed higher energy levels at 9am than at 9pm, and 44 owls, for whom the opposite was true. The owls also went to bed about two hours later, on average, than the larks.

But the rest of the group fell into neither of these patterns. As BPS Research Digest puts it:

There was a “high energetic” group of 25 people who reported feeling relatively sprightly in both the morning and evening; and a “lethargic” group of 32 others, who described feeling relatively dozy in both the morning and evening.

Both the lethargic and energetic participants went to bed and woke up somewhere between the owl and lark times. The energetic people slept about a half-hour less overall than the other three groups, netting about 7.5 hours of sleep each night.

So next time, rather than complain to your co-workers that you’re “always tired,” just let them know that you’re part of a newly discovered chronotype that is, in essence, all out of awakes to give.

The next big question is, obviously, what bird names to assign these two new groups. Lazy Bird and hummingbird? The albatross and the peregrine falcon? How many of these are already taken by indie bands?

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