There had to be one caveman who watched the campfire at night.
Delayed sleep phase is defined by the Mayo Clinic as "an internal sleep clock (circadian rhythm) sleep disorder in which your sleep pattern is delayed two hours or more from a normal sleep pattern, causing you to go to sleep later and wake up later."
If you have gone your whole life being called "lazy" or being told "you can get up in the morning if you really wanted to," you know the banes of being a night owl, but night time is the right time for a lot of people. "The exact prevalence in the general population is unknown, but it is estimated to affect seven percent to 16 percent of teens and young adults," wrote Dr. Lisa Shives for CNN Health.
Scientists have even found an "after hours" mutation (Afh) in the gene Fbxl3 in mice, according to Science Daily.
President Obama claims to be a night owl. "My usual day [is]: I work out in the morning; I get to the office around 9, 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.; work till about 6:30 p.m.; have dinner with the family, hang out with the kids and put them to bed about 8:30 p.m.," Obama told Newsweek in 2009. "And then I'll probably read briefing papers or do paperwork or write stuff until about 11:30 p.m., and then I usually have about a half hour to read before I go to bed ... about midnight, 12:30 a.m.-sometimes a little later."
True night owls will balk at anyone claiming to be a night person if bedtime is before 2 a.m. Ergo, no, President Obama, you are not part of the nocturnal elite.
After missing brunch and whatever else happens in the morning (nothing really good could happen that early), here are some brains and brawn reasons to be loud and proud about your messed up schedule.
Night owls are smarter.
A study by an evolutionary scientist at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Satoshi Kanazawa, found a link between intelligence and "evolutionarily novel" behaviors, according to Huff Post Science. "Routine nocturnal activities were probably rare in the ancestral environment and are thus evolutionarily novel," wrote Kanazawa. Conclusion: "More intelligent children are more likely to grow up to be nocturnal adults who go to bed late and wake up late on both weekdays and weekends."
Night owls are stronger.
A study by researchers at the University of Alberta tested the leg muscle strength of nine morning people and nine night people during different times of the day, according to CNN Health. Leg strength was fairly consistent for morning people, but night people had increased strength in the evening. "That may be because evening people show increased motor cortex and spinal cord excitability in the evening, about 9 p.m., meaning they had maximal central nervous system drive at that time," co-author Olle Lagerquist said.
Night owls are more creative.
Night owls do not live lives that fall within society's norms. Grocery shopping is done when only the shelf stockers are out, cardio is blasted at the gym after dark and laundry is done into the wee hours of the morning.
This nonconformity may be a cause or effect of a creative spirit, according to ABC Science. A study by researchers from the Department of Psychology at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan divided 120 men and women into groups of morning, evening and in-between people. The participants were asked to complete a variety of tasks involving drawing. Night people passed with flying artistic colors, while the others struggled to get a barely passing mark.
"Being in a situation which diverges from conventional habit, nocturnal types often experience this situation, may encourage the development of a non-conventional spirit and of the ability to find alternative and original solutions," lead author of the study Marina Giampietro said, according to ABC Science.
Besides, early birds get the worm. Gross.