SOME of us find it easy to start the day early and tackle the morning head on. For others, it's a much slower start with the latter part of the day seemingly bringing out the best in us.

While some of us are quite happy either being a morning lark or a night owl, a new study has looked at whether it is possible to change.

In an interview with the Live Science website, Michelle Drerup, director of behavioural sleep medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, said: "It is possible to make the switch [from night owl to lark] but it's not easy."


A person's tendency to be a night owl, early bird or some place in between is known as their chronotype. Depending on their chronotype, people are likely to be more awake and alert during certain times of the day and sleepier during others.

Genetics play a big part in whether you're a lark or an owl, but the environment also has a role.

"People tend to participate in daily activities that reinforce their chronotype," added Ms Drerup.

"For example, night owls feel more productive and alert at night, so they tend to exercise and socialize in the evening. These activities are stimulating and reinforce the person’s tendency to stay up late"

The research concluded that change is possible if someone wants to wake up earlier in the day. It is essential that the change is made gradually, slowly shifting your wake-up alarm earlier by 15 to 20 minutes every few days over the course of several weeks until you're adjusted to your ideal schedule.

However, it can also be a matter of simple choice and if being a night owl works for you, there is no reason to change your sleep schedule.