Being a Night Owl Might Influence Your Career Choice

Photo (cc) by © 2006-2013 Pink Sherbet Photography

Your internal clock could affect your career path.

A new study distributed by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine suggests that when people prefer to sleep is tied to the college major and, ultimately, the career they choose.

Psychology professor Frederick Brown had a group of 1,200 students report their majors and their “morningness” or “eveningness” tendencies — when they prefer to be awake, get up, and go to bed.

Interests and skills obviously play the biggest role in picking a major, Brown told The Kansas City Star, but sleeping habits are also a factor.

Here’s some of what Brown found:

  • People who prefer evenings are most likely to major in management science, information systems, and justice administration, where job hours tend to skew later in the day.
  • A press release said that “the major with the highest relative scores for a ‘morning’ preference was nutrition.”
  • Media majors reported the highest average sleep deficit, getting about three hours less than they wanted per night.

Jobs with hours that don’t suit a person’s internal clock could reduce job performance, especially if they can’t cope well with sleep loss, Brown says.

Jobs with varying shifts are worse, and could lead to stress and depression, a consultant for the American Psychiatric Foundation told the Star.

Are you a morning person, a night owl, or fine either way? Does that suit your career? Let us know on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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