Are you a night owl who likes to stay up to study or watch late-night talk shows? Or an early bird who likes to get a head start on the competition?
According to a new study from a University of Chicago
professor, your personal sleeping habits are related to your propensity for taking risks - with night owls being higher risk takers than early birds.
The study, which was published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology
, also found that sleeping preferences are linked to other personality traits.
"Night owls, both males and females, are more likely to be single or in short-term romantic relationships versus long-term relationships, when compared to early birds," said study author, Dario Maestripieri
, professor of comparative human development at UChicago. "In addition, male night owls reported twice as many sexual partners than male early birds."
To reach his conclusion, Maestripieri used information from an earlier study
of over 500 graduate students at the University of Chicago. That study examined financial risk aversion for male and female students and discovered men tended to take more financial risks than women. However, females with relatively higher testosterone levels were comparable to males with respect to financial risk-taking, the earlier study showed.
To expand on that study, the Chicago professor looked to see if sleep patterns have any effect on these risk-taking tendencies by looking at an association with differences in personality and in thrill-seeking. Maestripieri began by collecting saliva samples from 110 males and 91 females to determine their levels of the stress hormone cortisol and testosterone. The levels were determined before and after participants completed a computerized assessment of their predilection for financial risk aversion. The participants also talked about their own eagerness for risks and gave information about their sleep habits.