This past month, I conducted a study of fellow HOLers by posting a topic on the HOL forum titled “Early Bird or Night Owl.” The point of this discussion was to see whether we have more morning people or night people on this site. Considering I often see so many of us up late on irc, and yes I take into account time zones, I was almost certain there would be more Night Owls come around.
It seems there were a lot of questions over what exactly qualifies someone to be a night owl or an early bird. While I left this very open to interpretation, I consider someone to be a night owl if they find that they do their best work in the middle of the night. However, if you feel more awake and ready to go in the morning, you are most likely an early bird.
As many of you commented, commitments play a large role in exactly when we go to sleep and when we wake up. However, though my commitments require me to often wake up around 5:30am or not long after, I find myself to not be fully awake until closer to 3pm which is the opposite for many.
There is also a biological clock that plays a role in this as well. This is our chronotype. Scarlet posted a fun little test which told us exactly the chronotype we were, if you took it. I found out that I was a dolphin which fits right in with being a night owl.
So let’s look at some comparisons. First of all, according to our original responses, the majority of us consider ourselves to be night owls. Others said that they used to be night owls at a certain point in their life and then changed to an early bird later on. And then there were a few who said they were not sure or that it could change on a daily basis.
When it comes to the chronotype quiz, this gives us a better understanding of how to determine what we classify as. For those of us who took the quiz, it was fairly even between dolphins and bears. To understand how this correlates to the original discussion, a bear typically is most alert around mid-morning to afternoon while a dolphin is most alert late at night.
Needless to say, going through all the responses, it would seem that mostly as a group, we HOLers like our afternoons and late nights. Though many of us have commitments that often can give us crazy sleep schedules or we fall into strange sleep patterns, preferences tend to still be to this part of the day.
My research has been complete, and I thank all of you who participated in it for giving me your thoughts. It was very enlightening to read them all. Now I will wander on to different questions such as the role of technology in changing our sleep cycles and habits. After all, the point is to feel our best so we can do our best work, so knowing more about ourselves, as well as how the world around us affects our desperate need for rest, can lead to better results overall.