You've probably heard about early birds and night owls for ages, but are those just cute ornithological descriptions, or is there some biological truth to them?
It turns out that there's some solid physiological and genetic science behind why some people rock the mornings, others rock the nights, and a lucky few rock both. It has to do with your chronotype, a kind of biological personality that runs your internal clock. Dr. Sonia Ancoli-Israel of the UC San Diego Center for Circadian Biology talked to us about how your chronotype could be the reason you can't seem to make it to work on time, or why you pass out at 8pm after a tough day.
Early birds and night owls are birds of a different chronotype
In any work-driven society, early birds are the responsible, productive individuals who spring up in the morning and get shit done. Meanwhile, night owls are the fun party people who, if you ever spot them in the morning, are always clutching a huge coffee and reluctantly trudging along.
Turns out that these popular characterizations are related to the fact that these folks have different individual circadian rhythms. "Circadian rhythms are 24-hour biological rhythms, and there are many systems in our bodies that have these," explains Dr. Ancoli-Israel. "Recent research has shown that there are many clocks throughout our bodies, all controlled by the main clock in the brain."