Introducing chronotype detection

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Introducing chronotype detection


For some reason, the western civilization favors morning people with its predominant 9-to-5 job schedule.
A portion of people is okay with that, a portion is extremely happy about it, and then, well, there’s the night owl.

When we started our big SleepCloud study1 last year, one of the first things we wanted to find out was whether there is any support for the owl/lark hypothesis. Whether night owls and morning larks even exist.

Turns out they do. As with all human classification, the scale from owl to lark is continuous, so there are people who go to sleep strictly at nine, wake up at five, and are happy. There are people who are shifting their sleep patterns. There are nightshifters, not only by profession, but swearing by nightlife.

Night owl person tends to stay up active until late night, usually past midnight, and wake up later. See wikipedia article.
Morning lark person is named after a bird who rises very early in the morning. A human lark is a person who usually gets up early and feels most energetic towards the start of the day. They tend to get tired towards the evening. See wikipedia article.

Also check out our documentation page for Chronotype.

Till Roenneberg, a professor of chronobiology at Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, makes an argument in his book Internal Time that people are born with a chronotype. Everyone is somewhere on the spectrum from owl to lark, and this doesn’t change by any external pressures. Not adhering to one’s natural chronotype has severe consequences to the quality of life, especially concerning fatigue and energy levels.

In other words, you might be sleep deprived for your whole life if you are a natural owl doing 9-to-5 office jobs.landscape_framed

Roenneberg has also brought up social jet lag, a notion that when people have a completely free day, they will turn to their natural chronotype (and go wild for the whole night and go to sleep at 6AM and stuff). But when they work a fixed schedule, they have to fight this natural tendency on workdays. This constant shifting of sleep pattern between workdays and weekdays creates a certain tension that can be best compared to a periodic shifting of timezones – and a jet lag results.

c69f6d8a-cfbc-4298-8316-e3db8a949b05In the latest release of Sleep as Android, you can find out what your chronotype is – are you a level 1 lark, or perhaps a hardcore night owl? Sleep as Android will also show your trends – if you are a changeling.

Do you play your part in social jet lag by sleeping differently on weekends than on workdays? You can compare your jet lag to the general population.

Sleep as Android with chronotype detection is currently in beta. Get it now!

Get it on Google Play

1. SleepCloud study is an ongoing sleep research by Urbandroid Team, based on sleep records submitted to SleepCloud from users of Sleep as Android app all around the world. Catch up on the SleepCloud study here.



11 thoughts on “Introducing chronotype detection

      1. Thank you Jiri. I was wondering, a few weeks ago I was a Morning Lark 2, now I’m a Morning Lark 1. What is the difference in these definitions? I’ve had a few mornings when I’ve had to get up earlier recently, so I can guess, but I’didn’t love to know more specifically what the definitions is.

    1. Midsleep hour is the middle hour of your sleep. I.e. sleeping from 10PM to 6AM, midsleep hour would be 2AM.
      This is a nice simple indicator of inclination to one of the two chronotypes.

    1. Hi Brett, we have sectioned the population into 20 groups (Morning Lark 10 to 1, Night Owl 1 to 10) according to their average mid sleep hour (wake up hour – fall asleep hour).
      Morning Lark 2 means that you tend to wake up in the morning, and that your mid sleep hour is deviated from the population average less than 80% of population.
      If you were Morning lark 10, you would be a morning lark with the most midsleep hour deviation from the average.

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