Those who are "early to bed, early to rise" might be happier.
It's the kind of news that could keep night owls awake with worry: Researchers at the University of Toronto have found that people who follow the adage "early to bed and early to rise" report being happier than people who stay up late into the night.
For the study, published in the American Psychological Association's monthly journal Emotion, researchers asked 700 respondents between ages 17 and 79 to assess their emotional health and state their preferred time of day. The study didn't include quizzing respondents on the reasons behind their answers, but researchers theorized that a primary factor in night owls' dissatisfaction is that the social cycle is geared for people working the day shift.
There's probably some validity to that, said Jill Riley, who has firsthand experience with both sides of the issue. After spending four years working the overnight shift at the Current 89.3, she recently switched to the early morning time slot.
"Eventually, as a night owl you end up living in your own little world," she said. "It's very hard to interact with other people because you're awake when they're asleep and vice versa. I felt that I was a happy person working nights; in fact, in college I worked the graveyard shift at a factory. But now that I'm a day walker, I'm really enjoying connecting with human beings."
David Campbell, a fellow announcer at the radio station, loves his job but admits that it hasn't been particularly good for his love life. He draws late-night shifts that can go until 2 a.m.
"The last two women I dated had 9-to-5 jobs, and getting our schedules to work out wasn't easy," he said. "I've always been a night owl, but I'll admit that it's a challenge sometimes."