Naturally late night owls tend to have poorer health habits, including sleep habits, leading to lower wages, a new study published in December 2012 found. economics and human biology. The results of the study reveal a link between people’s natural sleep patterns, known as chronotypes, and their financial well-being in middle age.
Previous studies have shown various associations between sleep duration and wages, but the underlying mechanisms generating these associations have been inconsistent and poorly understood. The researchers aimed to provide a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of how sleep, as indicated by chronotypes, affects wages and potential pathways involved.
Chronotype refers to an individual’s natural preferences for daily activities, especially the timing of sleep and wake cycles. It is closely related to the individual’s internal circadian rhythm, an internal clock that regulates various physiological and behavioral processes over an approximately 24-hour period. This circadian rhythm influences when we feel most alert, alert, and productive, and when we are most likely to fall asleep.
People exhibit different chronotypes based on their intrinsic circadian rhythms. These can be broadly classified into his three categories:
Morning type (skylark): Morning types are people who naturally prefer to get up early in the morning and are most alert during the early hours of the day. They tend to feel tired and ready to go to bed early in the evening.
Night owls: Night owls are individuals who naturally prefer staying up late at night and being active. They tend to be more alert and awake in the evening and may struggle with early morning activities.
Intermediate: Falls between morning and night owls, with chronotypes in between for some people. They may feel awake during the daytime hours, but not as early as morning owls. Or maybe you stay up as late as a morning person, but not as late as a night person.
To better understand the mechanisms linking chronotypes and wages, researchers proposed a theoretical framework that combines economic models related to human, social and health capital. This framework suggests that individual chronotypes influence the accumulation of these different types of capital, which in turn can influence productivity and wages.
The data used in this study were derived from a population-based cohort study known as the 1966 Northern Finland Birth Cohort, which robustly analyzes the associations between chronotypes, different forms of capital and wages. can do. Human capital was assessed through factors such as work history and educational attainment, health capital was measured through behaviors such as smoking and sleep patterns, and social capital was measured by analyzing trust and prosocial behavior. The final sample included 2,231 males and 2,789 females.
“My co-authors and I have been working on similar types of behavioral economics studies that examine the relationship between biological and/or psychological traits and economic outcomes,” said study author, Aalto University Management said Andrew Conlin, a postdoctoral fellow at the graduate school.
“Given the unique data available in the 1966 northern Finnish birth cohort, we thought we could contribute to the literature on the economic impact of sleep. It builds on previously published papers on the relationship between chronotype and self-assessed work capacity.”
Researchers found that having a night chronotype had an indirect effect on wages. In other words, nocturnal chronotypes are not directly related to lower wages, but to other factors related to lower incomes.
The largest impact on wages was due to health capital. For example, nighttime chronotypes were more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors such as less physical activity, smoking, and more alcohol consumption. They were also more likely to experience poor sleep, including insomnia and less than seven hours of sleep per night. The researchers showed that these factors taken together could explain why evening chronotypes earn less than morning chronotypes.
“Sleep is important,” Conlin told Cypost. “It’s not surprising, we all know that. But we’re trying to show the potential mechanism Sleep is related to wages. Being a night owl (“owl”) appears to be associated with higher rates of health deterioration, which in turn appears to be associated with lower wages. ”
However, like any other study, this study has some caveats. The participant’s chronotype was assessed at a specific time when they were 46 years of age. While this study allows us to confidently draw conclusions about how being a night owl at age 46 is associated with work productivity, it cannot prove causality.
“The big caveat is that we can only show an indirect link between chronotypes and wages. We cannot make any claims about evening chronotypes.” cause lower wages or cause Deteriorating health (think ‘correlation is not causation’),” Conlin explained. “We were not able to use analytical techniques that could test such causal relationships.”
“I think that further research into causal mechanisms would be very beneficial. Do chronotype and work schedule discrepancies really cause decreased productivity? why Are evening chronotypes associated with poor health? Are there common underlying biological factors?”
The study, “Association of Chronotypes with Midlife Wages”, was authored by Andrew Conlin, Iiro Nerg, Leena Ala-Mursula, Tapio Räihä, and Marko Korhonen.