Apparently there are six sleep types, not just night owls and morning larks

Ever felt like you’re neither a night owl nor a morning lark?

Perhaps you’re just tired all the damn time, or feel at your peak in the middle of the afternoon.

It turns out you’re not a freak of nature if this is the case, as new research suggests there are actually six types of sleeper, not just the night owls and morning larks we know best.

New research from sleep specialist Arcady Putilov, published in the journal Personality and Inividual Differences, surveyed 1,305 people to see when they felt most awake and ready to get on with things.

Alongside the expected morning people and night people, researchers also spotted ‘afternooners’ and ‘nappers’.

If you’re an ‘afternooner’ you’re sleepy in the morning and the evening, but feel great in the afternoon.

If you’re a ‘napper’, you’re alert in the morning and evening but feel a drop in energy in the afternoon (which may make you take a nap).

So that’s four types. The researchers then proposed two more: the ‘woodcock’ and the ‘swift’.

Don’t ask why sleep types always seem to be related to birds, we have no clue.

Anyway, woodcocks are sleepy all day while swifts are alert all day, with a straight line of tiredness rather than drastic peaks and troughs.

Don’t panic, there’s not yet any data to suggest that one chronotype is better than the other, or that you’re doomed if you’re a woodcock or an afternooner.

This bit of research is just the beginning of expanding our understanding of the way humans sleep. Now that we know that there are more varieties than just morning and night people, we can get started on adjusting our days to make them fit our needs.

So… which one are you?

The six types of sleeper:

Morning larks feel most energised in the morning. If you’re a lark, you’ll have no problem waking up early in the morning, but might struggle with late nights. You’ll have your best ideas and get the most done before noon, so it’s worth packing your day towards the morning and giving yourself a break when the sleepiness hits later on.

Night owls are the exact opposite of larks. Owls will feel most creative in the evening and at night, and would far prefer to stay up late than have to get up early. There’s evidence to suggest that forcing night owls into a lark routine can be detrimental to their productivity and their mental health.

If you’re an afternooner, your peak comes in the afternoon. Perhaps you get your best work done and feel on top of the world at 2pm. The tricky bit is that you’ll feel sleepy in both the morning and evening. Again, some clever scheduling of your work day can help you improve your results – keep more challenging tasks for your afternoon.

Napper types are those who feel snoozy in the afternoon, but feel awake in the morning and in the evening. They’re the type most likely to desperately want a siesta.

If you feel sleepy all day, whatever time it is, you might be a woodcock.

And if you’re alert the entire time you’re awake and don’t have any ups and downs in tiredness, you’re a swift.

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