Night Owls Can 'Retrain' Their Body Clocks to Improve Mental Well-Being and Performance

Posted on June 13, 2019

Night owls refer to individuals who sleep and wake up later than most people, often due to poorer sleeping habits. Such irregular sleeping times can lead to a number of mental and physical health issues like fatigue and mood swings. Fortunately, a recent study has proved to help improve the sleeping habits of ‘night owls’ without the use of medications. The methods used in the study has also enhanced the mental health as well as the eating habits of individuals.

22 participants took part in the three-week conducted by the Universities of Birmingham and Surrey, as well as Monash University. At the start of the experiment, these individuals on average slept around 2.30am and would wake up around 10.15am. They were told to sleep and wake up 2-3 hours earlier than usual and keep these timings the same everyday. Participants were also asked to maximize the outdoor light during the mornings and minimize any lights in the evening. Meal times were regulated during the experiment.

The resulting data showed that at the end of the experiment, participants were able to sleep and wake up at normal timings, experience improved moods and reduced tiredness in the day. This shows that the ways to regulate sleep cycle used in the experiment were highly beneficial. Not having enough sleep can disrupt the body’s processes, which may then contribute to the development of chronic diseases. This especially concerns night owls as their preferred sleeping habits often do not fit in with their working schedules.

This could potentially be applied to fields that seek to enhance productivity and performance, as it provides ways in which people can improve their overall health and functioning through simple changes in daily routines. More has to be done to determine if the methods for improving sleep cycles are sustainable, and how they are linked to one’s mental health.

Category(s):Sleep Disorders

Source material from Science Daily