Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Night owls' drive much worse in the morning

Date:
June 27, 2014
Source:
University of Granada
Summary:
Researchers have shown that individual chronotype -- that is, whether you are a "morning-type" or an "evening-type", depending on the time of day when your physiological functions are more active -- markedly influences driving performance.

Researchers from the University of Granada have shown that individual chronotype -- that is, whether you are a "morning-type" or an "evening-type," depending on the time of day when your physiological functions are more active -- markedly influences driving performance.

In fact, evening-types are much worse drivers -- they pay less attention -- at their "non-optimal" time of day (early in the morning) by comparison with their optimal time (during the evening). However, in this experiment morning-types were more stable drivers than evening-types and drove relatively well both in the morning and the evening.

In an article published in Accident Analysis and Prevention, researchers from the Neuroergonomía research group of the University of Granada Mind, Brain and Behavior Center, analyzed the circadian (biological) rhythms in a sample of 29 University of Granada students with extreme chronotypes, selected from a database sample of over 500.

Early birds and night owls

Circadian rhythms -- from the Latin circa, 'around', and dies, 'day' -- are differences in biological variables that occur at regular intervals, such as sleep and wakefulness. "As scientists we use the simile related with birds: we tend to compare early birds -- we call them sky larks -- with morning-type people, and night owls with evening-types," explains Ángel Correa, principal author of the study. The University of Granada team used a questionnaire to determine issues such as when participants were most energetic or what their sleeping habits were, and a driving simulator. So, both the morning- and the evening-types were made to drive at 8.00 in the morning and 8.00 in the evening. Then they compared their driving performance at their respective optimal and non-optimal times of day.

In the light of their results, the researchers suggest that businesses should test workers to determine whether they are morning- or evening-types and adapt work schedules to suit chronotypes.

High-risk professions

"Certain professions involve performing tasks that require good attention vigilance -- airline pilots, air traffic controllers, supervisors in nuclear power stations, surgeons, or lorry drivers," Correa points out.

"A particular time of day can be a good or a bad time to perform these tasks as a function of the chronotype of the individual involved, although there are times that are bad for everyone, like siesta time or in the early hours between 3.00 and 5.00," he warns.

The University of Granada researchers warn that driving after more than 18 hours wakefulness -- say, at 2.00 in the early morning after waking at 8.00 the previous morning, which is quite common -- "entails the same level of risk as driving with the legal maximum level of blood alcohol, because our level of vigilance declines considerably."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Granada. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ángel Correa, Enrique Molina, Daniel Sanabria. Effects of chronotype and time of day on the vigilance decrement during simulated driving. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 2014; 67: 113 DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2014.02.020

Cite This Page:

University of Granada. "'Night owls' drive much worse in the morning." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140627094553.htm>.
University of Granada. (2014, June 27). 'Night owls' drive much worse in the morning. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140627094553.htm
University of Granada. "'Night owls' drive much worse in the morning." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140627094553.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) — Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) — A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) — Researchers found an improvement in memory and learning function in subjects who received electric pulses to their brains. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins