If you’re a morning person, chances are you’re more inclined to handle your workload with ease before lunch time rolls around. When nighttime descends, however, it’s a different story.
According to a new study done by the Higher School of Economics and Oxford University, there are distinct differences between how morning people vs. night owls work at various times of the day, Science Daily reports.
The research found that those who are all about the a.m. had quicker reaction times but made more mistakes when completing tasks that required their attention. Night owls, on the other hand, took more time on the tasks while not sacrificing on accuracy.
To demonstrate this, 26 participants (13 men and 13 women) were awake for 18 hours straight, from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m., while sticking to their normal habits. In the morning, they filled out an Attention Network Test (ANT) as well as a questionnaire to determine their chronotype (AKA whether they’re an early-to-bed-early-to-rise type or a fan of all-nighters).
Both early risers and night owls had similar results on the ANT, but their evening test was where the changes started to show. During the second test, the morning people finished before the night owls (something the researchers did not expect), yet they showed less accuracy than their evening-loving counterparts (hello, sleepiness-induced mistakes). Researchers found that the night owls took a “more serious approach” to tasks requiring their attention at their favorite time of day (because nighttime is when they thrive, after all).
“On the one hand, it’s known that night owls are more efficient in the late hours, but how this influences the speed and accuracy with which attention-related tasks are completed remains unclear,” writes lead researcher Andriy Myachykov. So if you’re a morning person who has some tasks from your to-do list that spill into the nighttime, you might want to consider tabling it til the morning.