Influence of chronotype Is it better to be a morning or an evening person?


Share this article:

Are you one of those people who like to go to bed late? Do you find it a pain to get up early in the morning and need a couple of coffees to feel awake? If the answer is yes, you are probably what is known as a night owl. There are two types of people in this world: owl people, with an evening chronotype; and lark people, with a morning chronotype.

What is a person’s chronotype?

The chronotype refers to the natural predisposition of people to experience energy peaks depending on the time of day. The chronotype is a manifestation of circadian rhythms, i.e. physiological patterns that occur in the body every 24 hours. Examples of these are the daily cycles of body temperature or the production of hormones such as melatonin. These physiological changes cause you to feel more or less energetic at certain times and also induce sleep. Individual variations in the biological clock cause us to have a more morning (lark) or evening (owl) chronotype.

Morning chronotype

Morning chronotypes tend to go to bed early, get up early and have their peak energy and productivity during the morning, so they tend to perform better in the early morning. Morning people generally prefer to sleep between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., and their biological clock is more synchronised with the light-dark rhythm.

Evening chronotype

Evening chronotypes, on the other hand, enjoy sleeping late and feel more energetic in the evening or late afternoon, so they tend to perform better in the late afternoon or evening and tend to be cranky if they have to get up very early.

The influence of chronotype on sleep quality

Having one chronotype or the other is not detrimental in itself. However, in many ways morning chronotypes have an easier time adjusting to the way society is organised, as most important activities such as work or school are scheduled in the morning. This means that a large percentage of people with an evening chronotype do not get enough sleep or rest, which can lead to sleep disturbances (such as insomnia or daytime sleepiness), lower physical and cognitive performance and even emotional disorders such as depression.

But it’s not all bad news for night owls. Studies have shown that evening chronotypes have higher levels of creativity and a greater ability to find less conventional solutions. However, if you experience a mismatch between internal and environmental chronotype, and you feel this is causing problems with your physical or mental well-being, you can consult a professional for guidance. Making some changes in your habits and lifestyle can help you to adapt better and get a better rest.

In conclusion, sleep quality plays a very important role in people’s overall well-being, so knowing the genetics that predispose you to one chronotype or another will allow you to implement strategies to improve the quality of your sleep and your daytime performance.