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Hot Topic Tuesday: Are Morning People Happier?

Could an early bedtime make you happier? (Photo by Sarah Kehoe)

Written by Laura Cofsky, editorial intern

Do you normally feel grouchy and groggy when your alarm sounds in the morning? Or do you wake up energized and ready to start the day? Your answer may say something about how happy you are.

According to a recent University of Toronto study, night owls are actually less happy overall than their early bird counterparts. The reason? Researchers believe that night owls are more likely to experience social jet lag — sleep deprivation caused by a conflict between when we wake up for work during the week versus when our bodies naturally wake up unprompted. So if you wish you could sleep until noon every day, waking up for a nine-to-five job each morning takes a toll, no matter how easy it is to nab a cup of coffee.

On the one hand, it makes sense that going through most of the week in a sleep-deprived haze would result in a gloomier mindset. But then again, couldn’t other factors affect whether or not someone has a sunny disposition?  It seems like night owls would have larger social circles because they’re more likely to hit happy hour after work. Also, are night owls the only ones suffering from social jet lag? Even though most people need to be at work early, many events, work-related or not, don’t end until late at night. In this scenario, morning people would also have to combat sleep-deprivation.

Now you tell us: Do you think early risers are happier than night people?

More from FITNESS:
How to Become a Morning Person
5 Stretches to Sleep Better