What can you do if you are a Night Owl (rather than Morning Lark!)?

Evolutionary boffins believe that we were inclined to sleep at different times to increase our chances of survival (way back in the olden days!). Within a group we would have limited our overall sleep (to avoid being caught out by attack) and so we evolved that some us perform best during the day with others flourishing at night.

Nowadays most of us broadly conform to somewhere in between extreme morning lark versus night owl behaviour. But research suggest that those night owls who stay up later are susceptible to health issues (versus morning larks). These include depression, poor metabolism and risk of diabetes. Plus are more likely to be sedentary and have a reliance of caffeine!

So if you are a night owl is it possible to cheat the system (it is in your genes after all)? The boffins suggest it is possible to train the body into better sleeping habits but requires mental strength and a disciplined approach.  Start by shifting your bedtime to half an earlier and slowly increase the time. And then try and stick with it  - no cheating at the weekends! And then apply sensible techniques such as avoiding devices within an hour of bed time, maybe take a bath and avoid known foods and drink that can inhibit sleep such a sugary and fatty snacks – and of course alcohol.

Good luck – I’m sure the challenge will be worth it.