SEOUL, Jun. 29 (Korea Bizwire) — Contrary to popular belief, night owls whose internal body clocks are aligned differently from most people are more than capable of leading a healthy social life, a group of South Korean researchers say.
Those who feel more awake at night aren’t necessarily doomed to having a bad social life, as long as they have enough physical resilience to recover and bounce back quickly, a research team led by Professor Yun In-young at the Seoul National University Hospital Sleep Center discovered after conducting a study on a sample of 1,794 employees at the hospital.
The research team said on Wednesday that despite the widely assumed influence of an individual’s chronotype on their social behavior, a variety of issues associated with being a night owl, including quality of sleep, feeling sleepy during the day, tiredness, depression and quality of life have a closer link with one’s physical capacity to recover quickly than a sleep schedule.
Chronotype is a term often used to break people down into groups with different sleep times, mainly separating those who wake up early in the morning and those who feel more awake at night.
When the research team began analyzing statistics on the correlation between some of the symptoms widely associated with being a night owl, they made two important findings.
While the quality of sleep is heavily dictated by one’s chronotype the way it’s been widely understood, the principal factor affecting most of the other issues previously associated with being a night owl – feeling sleepy during the day, overall tiredness and depression – was an individual’s physical resilience.
“Conventionally, it’s been believed that night owls are more likely to disrupt a biorhythm, but the findings from our research show with enough physical resilience to recover quickly, even night owls can have a great social life,” said Yun.
“One’s capacity to bounce back can be improved by changing habits and psychological treatment programs. When you can find the right method to do so, you can have healthy life regardless of your chronotype.”
The findings from the research conducted by professor Yun’s team have been published in the latest edition of Chronobiology International.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)