According to a new Finnish study, traditional working days have no benefit to staying up late, and those who prefer staying up late may not perform twice as well as getting up early.
Early rising (people with morning chronotypes) tend to work hard early in the morning, while evening types do the opposite.This inner clock Mainly geneticHowever, work schedules, family life, and exposure to sunlight also play a role.
Chronotypes are your time zone preferences for sleep and other activities and reflect the underlying differences of the individual. Circadian rhythm.. This internal process affects sleep patterns, metabolism, body temperature, and hormones.
Researchers asked 5,881 people born in northern Finland in 1966 about work life and health, about sleep patterns, and examined the natural chronotypes of 2012 at the age of 46. Study participants were monitored for four years.
Researchers have found that 10% of men and 12% of women are of the “evening type”, 72% of whom worked in day labor jobs. The rest were mostly early risers or evenly divided into what researchers called intermediate chronotypes.
A quarter of the people in the evening type rated their performance at work as poor, using what researchers developed as an internationally recognized measure. Studies have shown that this is a significantly higher proportion than early birds and intermediate chronotypes.
Even after considering potentially influential factors such as sleep time and working hours in the morning, night owls were twice as likely to suffer from poor performance as early birds of both sexes. Occupational medicine and environmental medicine.
“If the evening type has to work early in the morning, they don’t appreciate their work ability as much as the morning type. And vice versa. If normal business hours are from 3 pm to 11 pm, The early morning type feels worse than the evening type, “said Kristen Knutson, associate professor at Northwestern University, who studies the association of cardiovascular diseases such as sleep, circadian rhythms, and diabetes. Obesity and cardiovascular disease.
“The underlying mechanism is the internal biological clock that determines the time when we perform best,” said Knutson, who was not involved in the study.
The population surveyed was from a region of Finland, but given the universality of biological clocks, the findings “are likely to apply” to the United States, Knutson said. However, researchers say that Finnish office work begins early (usually at 8 am, manual work earlier), so the findings do not always apply everywhere, so more on this topic. He pointed out that it needs to be investigated.
“This was the first population-level study that provided evidence that evening chronotypes may be associated with inadequate work capacity,” said Dr. Tapio Reiha of Life Course Center and Occupational Health. Professor Lina Ala Mursula of Care said. Health survey at the University of Oulu, Finland.
“We recognize that these observations are new and need to be confirmed in other studies. Still, our results were before that evening was associated with poor health and function. It is in good agreement with the evidence of. “ They added to the evening chronotype using their words.
Suzanne Hood, an associate professor at Bishop’s University in Quebec, Canada, said staying up late should not be surprised by the findings.
Hood, who studies the body’s circadian rhythms, says that assessing job performance does not necessarily give you an idea of the quality of your work. Also, this study was observational. Staying up late does not mean that your ability to work is reduced. In addition, employers can benefit from people with different chronotypes.
“For example, an employee who seems to start late in the morning may be the one who can work most effectively until the evening to meet important deadlines,” said Hood, who was not involved in the survey. I did.
“If we have the opportunity to have flexibility in our schedules, we may be able to optimize performance and productivity by giving our employees some control over when they complete their work.”
However, she said, “There is a lot of evidence that chronotypes affect your cognitive sharpness, which can affect your work and classroom performance.”
“This effect is evident when you ask someone to pay attention and remember the information at a time other than your liking. For example, an important presentation to a client at a breakfast party at 7:30 am for a night person Some people may have experienced this kind of spiritual fog in the suffering of jet lag. “
Hood said that several mechanisms may be at work, such as lack of sleep and how the body’s daily rhythms affect information and its response to different environments.
“Due to differences in preparation for falling asleep, the night person who arrived at the office at 8 am might have slept only 6 hours, but the morning person who arrived at the same time was 8 hours,” she explains. did.
“We encourage people whose work schedules are out of sync with their chronotypes to follow their normal sleep schedule so they don’t get sleep deprived,” says Hood. “Chronotypes are a little more adaptable, so you can shift your desired time a little by maintaining a daily routine of sleep and wake-up times.
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