Are you a morning or evening person?

Why does it matter?

Are you a morning or evening person?  You may be wondering, why does it matter?  Well it doesn’t, really.

However, it is good to know as it tells us when we are at our most productive.

There is no right or wrong.  However, research shows we are actually genetically predisposed to be either a morning or an evening person. According to chronobiology, which is the study of time in living things.  Cells in everything from plants to people work on their own internal ‘clock’.

Good to know…

We all know somebody who seems to be working to a different clock to us.

For some people, dragging themselves up in the morning can seem like an almost impossible task.

Whilst others seem to bound out of bed with unfathomable energy.

You may find that you are creative and motivated late into the evenings or that your energy begins to flag any time after 8pm.

Around 40% of us work best when staying awake later and sleeping in.  Unfortunately, this can mean early starts for the 9-5 workday can feel like a rude awakening for many.

Whether you are a morning or an evening person, there are a few steps you can take to make the most of your natural schedule and adjust your body clock to the working day.

Boost your body clock

There are so many ways in which you can boost your body clock, naturally.  In turn this will help you become more productive and will lead you to achieving your goals.  In turn, knowing when you are more alert, naturally will help you function more effectively.

So let’s have a look at some of the things you can do.

Get enough sleep

Our body’s needs changes over time.  Did you know this?  Research shows that it is recommended an average of 7-9 hours of sleep for most adults.

However, teenagers may need up to 11 hours, whilst for those over the age of 65 it could be as little as just 5 hours a night.  It is crazy how much it varies.

Ditch the caffeine for exercise

I know what you are thinking!!

However, there are numerous mental and physical benefits to exercise.  Exercising first thing could boost your energy even more effectively than caffeine.

For morning people, this means making the most of your early energy.  For evening people, it can be quite tough.  But it could also provide that kick start for the day ahead.  Try it!  Then have your cuppa…

Learn when you are most productive

We all have those annoying errands and admin tasks that seem to be forever put off until later.

If you work best early in the day, use this motivation to get them out of the way first thing.  You must have read that book:  Eat that frog.

Leaving them until later when you are likely to be less productive won’t do you any favours.  For later workers, set aside an hour of time in the afternoon when you can blast through these tasks more quickly.

Trying to drag yourself through them early in the morning will only waste time.  If you aren’t at your most productive, it will take twice as long anyway.

Bin the alarm clock

What?  How will I wake up??  I hear you.  If you’re not a morning person, the abrupt awakening of a traditional alarm can trigger a release of cortisol, the stress hormone.  We can do without this.

Well, there are different options.

Try using an app which plays gentle bird-song.  Such as: Good Morning Alarm Clock (iOS and Android, free) or Calm (iOS, Android and Desktop, starts at £7.99).  There are many options here.

Or, perhaps invest in a daylight lamp, which wakes you up gradually by mimicking the natural morning sunlight.

Listen to your body

Everything from our body temperature to the menstrual cycle can also influence how productive we are.

Listening to your body can help you make the most of your time.  It helps you learn when you are more likely to do different tasks to the best of your ability.

Keeping a routine morning and evening

Now whether you are a morning or an evening person, we still need out routines.  It is still great to get up at the same time every day, work on your mindset, do your exercise etc.  Just because you get up at 5 or 9am it doesn’t mean don’t do it.

Evening routines are needed to help your mind wind down before bed.  And it helps you plan your day for tomorrow.  This way, everything is out of your head and on paper.  This helps you rest and get a good nights sleep.

Even if you are one of the 5% of people who can function effectively on less than 5 hours sleep.  Leave time to unwind and put down any electronic devices before bed.

It is important to plan your daily routine around what works most effectively for you.

Take our quiz to find out if you’re a morning person or a night owl

Are you a morning or a night person?  Like I said it doesn’t matter, it just means work when you are at your most productive.

Everyone has their own unique body clock and will function better across different parts of the day. Research shows we are biologically predisposed towards being either an early bird or a night owl. Find out if you are a morning or a night person by taking our quiz.

Answer these questions:

What type of exercise works best for you?
  1. Beginning your day with yoga or pilates
  2. A post-work fitness class
  3. A high-energy workout to kick-start the morning
  4. A late night run to clear your head
You have a busy week with a lot of extra work to get done. You…
  1. …stay for an extra hour or two at work or in the library.
  2. …keep working all night until the early hours and get it finished.
  3. …wake up early and get a head start on the day’s tasks.
  4. …start again every evening after your working day to make up the time.
Your ideal day would involve…
  1. …waking up for an early run before breakfast and completing all of your errands before lunchtime.
  2. …sleeping in an hour later than usual and going out for brunch with friends.
  3. …a nice lie-in and a leisurely afternoon with friends.
  4. …sleeping until late morning or early afternoon and enjoying your evening well into the night.
What does your meal-time schedule look like?
  1. Breakfast at 7am, lunch at 12pm and dinner before 6pm.
  2. Breakfast before 8am, lunch by 1pm and dinner around 7pm.
  3. Breakfast by 9am, lunch around 1pm or 2pm and dinner before 8pm.
  4. Breakfast around 11am, lunch is never before 2pm and dinner could be almost any time.
If you have a creative task, when would you be most likely to start it?
  1. Mid-morning or right after lunch, I think best once my day has started properly.
  2. First thing in the morning, if I wake up early this is when I have the most ideas.
  3. Later in the afternoon, this is when my thoughts have really had a start connecting.
  4. In the late evening and into the night, this is when my creativity really comes alive.
Which activity would you choose to do with friends?
  1. Go out for drinks and dancing into the early hours
  2. Catch a late film showing
  3. Take a sunrise hike
  4. Have a catch up over brunch
What does your sleep routine look like?
  1. I am always in bed by 10pm to get a good night’s sleep ready for the day ahead.
  2. I find it difficult to go to bed before midnight and have had to get used to functioning on a fewer hours sleep.
  3. I try to get to bed at a reasonable hour so that I get 7 or 8 hours sleep a night.
  4. I am am usually in bed by midnight but sometimes find myself going to bed later.