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Are Morning People Happier Than Night Owls?

oskay, flickr

Turns out those chirpy morning people really are happier than night owls — a new study says that as we get older, we tend to shift to more of a daytime schedule, and that it makes us more cheerful people overall.

Researchers at the University of Toronto studied two populations of adults. One group was between 17 and 38 years old, and the other was between 59 and 79, and both groups were questioned about their preferred time of day, their emotional state, and how healthy they feel.

Seems although only 7 percent of younger people are morning larks, most become that way that by age 60 — and study researcher Renee Biss said that overall, early-risers reported “greater position emotion.” In addition, morning people also tended to say they felt healthier than night owls did.

“Evening people may be more prone to social jet lag; this means that their biological clock is out of sync with the social clock,” Biss said. “Society’s expectations are far more organized around a morning-type person’s schedule.”

So how can a night owl become a morning lark? “Increase your natural light exposure early in the morning, [and] wake up earlier and go to bed earlier,” Biss said. “It’s easiest if you have a consistent schedule, to make sure you are waking up at the same time every day.”


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