Like Staying Up Late? Science Says You're Probably Never On Time

Written by Emi Boscamp

Apparently, if you go to bed late, you have a tendency to be late.

According to a study recently published in the journal Current Psychology, night owls are less punctual than their early-rising counterparts (or, morning "larks") — but only when you ask them to be somewhere at 8:15 a.m., which seems pretty obvious.

The British Psychological Society's Research Digest walks us through the researchers' process:

[The researchers] waited as nearly 300 students arrived for their 8:15 a.m. morning lectures on 14 different courses at the University of Education in Heidelberg, Germany. The students' time of arrival was noted and they were given surveys on personality, their chronotype (i.e. lark vs. owl), their punctuality in general, and the means of transport to university. The students who were larks tended to arrive more punctually for their morning lectures. Other measures of personality, such as conscientiousness, had no association with lecture punctuality.

Though the researchers asked the students about their punctuality habits in general and found an association between staying up late and being tardy, I still think the study unfairly set the night owls up for failure. Admittedly, I happen to tend toward the owl end of the spectrum, but I think the researchers should perform the experiment some time later in the day. Indeed, I have a tough time waking up in the morning because I go to bed later, but that doesn't necessarily mean I'd be late for something in the evening (I hope!).

Anyway, as the researchers point out, this study is obviously not the last word on the subject, since this is the first ever study to examine the relationship between being a lark or an owl and being punctual. For now, at least, it gives us some understanding of why certain co-workers of ours can never seem to get to work on time.

(h/t New York Magazine)

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