Identify Your Body Clock

Are You an Owl or an Early Bird?

Modern life doesn't allow most of us to be our true selves.

What's your body clock? Print out a copy of PT's quiz and find out how you measure up.

Answer each question and tally up your score.

Always = 5 Sometimes = 3 Never = 1

_____ I have a good appetite 20 minutes after waking in the morning.

_____ I would have a great workout from 7 to 8 A.M.

_____ I find it easy to get out of bed in the mornings.

_____ I wake up without an alarm clock on workdays.

_____ If I worked between 4 A.M. and 6 A.M., I would choose to sleep beforehand rather than afterward.

_____ I am at my very best when I start my day.

_____ If I had to take an important test, I would prefer to take it at: 8-10 A.M. (5), 3-5 P.M. (3), 7-9 P.M. (1)

_____ If I could choose my schedule, my core working hours would be: 5-10 A.M. (5), 10 A.M.-5 P.M. (3), 5-10 P.M. (1)

_____ TOTAL (compare to the scale below)

SCORING:

Early Bird

35-40 Extreme Early Bird

You are among the 10 percent of people who naturally rise by 5 to 6:30 in the morning, feeling fresh. You are most productive during the first half of your day, but in the afternoon your mental sharpness steadily declines.

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27-34 Moderate Early Bird

You have many early bird traits, but perhaps you set your alarm clock "just in case," or sleep in on your days off. Nights are not off limits for you, but you don't often stay out late.

DO

  • Use sunlight to your advantage. Spend some time outside in the afternoon to bolster your energy during the second half of the day.
  • Engage in moderate evening activity—walking or socializing—rather than reading or watching TV.

DON'T

  • Accept a night job expecting that you'll easily adapt.
  • Exercise within four hours of bedtime.

Hummingbird

22-26 You Are Neither

Chronobiologist Michael Smolensky refers to your more flexible type as a "hummingbird." You tend to be ready for action both morning and night, in sync with our culture's demands.

Night Owl

14-21 Moderate Owl

While you don't consider yourself nearly nocturnal, you do prefer evenings to mornings. Your mood increases steadily throughout the day. A job that starts at 7 A.M. is not appealing, but a fishing trip at dawn isn't out of the question.

8-13 Definite Owl

If you had it your way, you'd sleep till noon. If you hold a 9- to -5 job, you rise as late as possible and usually skip breakfast. At night you find yourself busy, perhaps surfing the Internet, doing the laundry or socializing.

DO

  • Sleep with curtains open to let the sun wake you.
  • Perform your morning routine in natural light.

DON'T

  • Stay up late on the weekends or you'll suffer the effects on Monday, the equivalent of weekly jet lag.
  • Start new projects or watch TV right before bed. Opt for reading or listening to music.

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