Night Owl? Early Bird? Science has found that you were born that way. Every cell in your body is regulated by genetics, and works in sync to make you crave sleep either early, or late.
As a teenager, most people slip into being late to bed and late to rise. And as people start to reach the later years, they slip into an earlier schedule. Scientists don’t know why, but they know that it’s powerful: ignoring your body’s natural rhythms can lead to obesity, heart attacks, even cancer.
And most people do ignore their natural rhythms. Mostly because they have to—teenagers are expected to be at school at 7 am, even though other studies have found that a later start leads to greater academic achievement. Night workers suffer all kinds of problems, because you can’t fully change your internal clock to ignore sunlight.
Want to sleep better? Try and find your body’s natural rhythm, and then do your best to adjust your schedule to accommodate it. It’s a growing trend among employers to allow more flexible work schedules—not just because employees are more productive, but because some cities offer incentives in order to spread out rush hour. Your employer might be interested as well.
It likely goes beyond sleep as well: try and eat when your body wants, exercise, etc. and you’ll be further supporting your natural circadian rhythm, and supporting your overall health.
Have you noticed an overriding need to rest and wake at ertain times, regardless of the rest of your day?