German researchers looked at the brain functions of “night owls” (those who go to bed late) and “larks” (those tucked in early) and found some distinct differences.
According to the report, the differences could have a huge effect on life, success, and overall personality. Dr Jessica Rosenberg of the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine in Jülich, Germany says: “Our results show that extreme ‘late chronotypes’ (night owls) show differences in the diffusion of water molecules in areas belonging to the white matter of the brain as compared to early and intermediate chronotypes (larks).”
Reporter Áilín Quinlan writes that diffusion difference could be linked to depression in owls, who suffer a kind of ‘jet lag’ by being forced to reluctantly participate in a world of early risers which is in conflict with their natural tendency to sleep late.
“Late-nighters may find their lifestyles bring on more than a case of the blues,” writes Quinlan. “Studies carried out at the University of Western Sydney reveal that a night owl is more likely to be narcissistic and more Machiavellian in their desire to manipulate others — and may even be more inclined towards callousness and insensitivity.”
Sleep deprivation may also affect achievement, explains Dr Elaine Purcell, consultant in sleep disorder medicine at the Mater Private Hospital. “In general it is thought that larks do better in school, college or the workplace because they are on time and alert and able to absorb information whereas the night owl has great difficulty getting up in the morning and is missing early classes so they are at a disadvantage when it comes to exams,” she says.
Source: Irish Examiner