Day People vs. Night People: What do they do?

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Difference between Day People and Night People

Many people follow natural sleep patterns of sleeping at night and working, going to school and socializing during the day. With most jobs being 9-5, this schedule is suitable and fit for the majority of us. However you do have some folks who enjoy being up at night known as “night owls”, if you will. They tend to stay up until the afternoon or late morning and then sleep during the day. Although we’re all people, these sleep patterns and types of people can differ in many ways.

Day people and night people are individuals who tend to feel at their most active and energetic at different times. Day people or morning people find it easy to wake up early and they prefer to go to bed early. Night people find it very difficult to wake up early in the morning, but they tend to have much higher energy levels at night.

Day People
Night People

Names

Day people and night people are called by a range of different names. Day people are commonly known as larks or as early birds. In some countries, they may also be called A-people, while researchers often refer to day people using the term morningness. Night people are known by the opposing names of night owls and B-people. In research, they are often described using the term eveningness.

Circadian Rhythms

Circadian rhythms are the natural patterns of activity that occur over time. They are found in individual cells, in animals and plants, and in humans. One way in which circadian rhythms affect people is by affecting their energy levels during the day, but circadian rhythms can drive many processes, from body temperature to the activity of internal organs.

Different people tend to feel more active at certain times of day or night than at others. This is partly due to their inner biological clock. Day people tend to wake up early and to be active during the morning. Night people tend to have more energy during the night. They often stay up late and they can struggle if they have to get up early in the morning.

Scientists have discovered that there may be a genetic basis to the differences between day people and night people. Researchers have also discovered significant differences between day people and night people in terms of their brain circuitry. In some cases, individuals have been found whose biological clocks produce even more extreme effects on their activity levels than simply being a day person or a night person.

Effects on Lifestyle

Night people and day people prefer to lead lifestyles on very different schedules. This can cause conflict when they are living together in the same house, particularly when sharing a bed. Being a night person can also cause difficulties because it is less common and acceptable for people to be more active at night during the day. Business hours are usually geared towards day people, so anyone who prefers to work at night when their energy levels peak can find themselves at a disadvantage because they are expected to work in the mornings when they are not at their best. This can result in others seeing the night person as lazy. Night people often take on shift work or jobs that allow them to set their own schedules since they can then work when they are at their most energetic and when they have the advantage over day people.

Being a night person or a day person is not a choice. Some people are naturally more energetic and active during the day or during the night. Although it is possible to adjust to an unnatural schedule, it can reduce quality of life and make it more difficult to succeed at work.

Summary

  • Day people and night people show opposite patterns of behavior that can lead to tension between them when they attempt to fit in with one another''s schedules.
  • Day people, morning birds or larks prefer to wake up and go to bed early.
  • Night people or night owls are happier when they can get up and go to bed late.
  • People have natural cycles of energy levels that are associated with circadian rhythms.
  • It is possible for people to work against their natural energy cycles, but it can be difficult.

(*Note: This article has been modified to present a more equitable comparison of these two topics.)

What category do you fall under?
  • Day People
  • Night People
 
 

Discuss It: comments 6

  • Guest
  • Abhi wrote on June 2010

I am in technology, I am a night person. I prefer working mid nights as there is no noise.

  • Guest
  • Working Nights wrote on November 2010

Your arguments are weak, to call night shift people "lazy"- in today's 24/7 culture very few business do not have a night shift, think of supermarkets,factories, day cares, hospitals,all the cleaning business, your gas company, your electric company, DOT work at night, policemen, firemen work at nigh, nurses, therapists, EMT, lab technicians and Doctors work at night.

Thanks for the feedback. We've modified this article to present a more equitable comparison.

  • Guest
  • Kevin wrote on February 2011

I love how this article is based soley on the writers current perspective without any research what-so-ever. Awesome. Here's some food for thought. Night people are not less healthy, social, or mentally wasting away. If they were less healthy, it would be because society has created a business culture that focuses on daytime operating hours and so we have to conform to your schedule because there are less business jobs out there that operate at night. If anything we're more social unless you consider going to work during the day being social, in which case most of us do anyway. Our level of productivity peaks between the hours of 5pm and 9pm which is why after work we're out at the bars, clubs, social places while you're at home watching TV shows diminishing *your* minds. For the record, I would also consider staring at a computer screen all day long wasting away too, but you wouldn't because it's what you do. Maybe next time you should actually go out and speak with sleep specialists and get *real* information before you spew an editorial waste of text that further diminishes all us night peoples minds. Thanks.

Thanks for the feedback. We've modified this article to present a more equitable comparison.

  • Guest
  • ungkoytapay wrote on November 2011

thanks for the feedback

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