How long do owls sleep

Sleep types: lark or owl? - Competence Center for Health Tourism

Sleep types

Everyone knows the difference: some people, the “larks”, are happy and awake at 6:00 in the morning, but like to go to bed at 10:00 p.m., others, the “owls”, are hardly accessible before 9:00 a.m., but really bloom from 9:00 p.m. Extreme larks go to bed when the extreme owls get up. Some detest work in the evening, others then have their productive time.

Sleep type determines the preferred times for activity and rest during the day. The distribution of sleep types is identical worldwide: It follows a Gaussian curve with corresponding extremes on both sides. During puberty the average shifts towards later awakening, after puberty it shifts more towards earlier waking up.

In everyday life, both types of sleep naturally encounter different challenges.

As expected, a survey showed large differences in dealing with working days and days off. During the working week, the owls accumulate a "sleep guilt", which is "worked off" on the days off through increased sleep. The larks, on the other hand, sleep equally long during the working week and on the weekend. Owls obviously live against their rhythm during working hours and don't get used to it.

Another study examined the difference between sleep behavior on vacation and outside of vacation time. Here an additional difference between larks and owls became apparent: Larks slept longer overall, both during and outside of the vacation. Whether this is due to a greater need for sleep in the larks or for other reasons has not yet been clarified.

The difference between larks and owls lies in the internal clock of each individual. This internal clock can be found in almost every organism, it is genetically determined and cannot be changed.

The internal clock synchronizes the body's metabolic processes in every cell of the body. As part of what is known as “chronotyping”, an attempt is made to determine the respective individual body time through a molecular analysis of body cells. The aim is an individualized medicine that also takes into account the individual body time.

Until the realization of this “chronotherapy”, every person should above all draw one consequence from these results: He should take his own type of time seriously and live according to it - he cannot change it.