Some of us are born to binge on box sets in the early hours, while others leap out of bed at 6am looking refreshed.
Research suggests we can’t choose to be an owl or a lark, as our biological clock, or chronotype, is largely genetic. But we could all achieve more if we tweaked our days in line with our body clock.
So when are YOU most productive?
Only about 15% of us are true morning larks, 20% are natural owls, and the rest of us are in-between.
For the larks and in-betweeners, our days follow a distinct pattern, believes author Daniel Pink, who examined 700 scientific studies for his book, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing (Canongate).
There’s a morning peakof productivity from about 8.30am to 12pm, followed by a mid-afternoon trough, then a “rebound” energypeak from about 4pm.
However, for owls it’s in reverse: rebound, trough, then peak.
The idea is to get your cognitively demanding work done in the peak, when the brain is most vigilant and best able to repel distractions.Research shows four hours of solid morning work is more productive than spreading it over 12 hours.
Pink also found that even among larks, creative tasks were best done during the early evening rebound.
“If you’re a strongly night-time person, you can’t suddenly become a morning person,” says sleep researcherDr Neil Stanley. “For most of us, around 11am is when we’re at our peak, even if we don’t think we are.”
5 ways to make your mornings more productive
If you're part of the 80% of the population who fall into the morning lark or in-between categories, here's how to get the most out of your morning productivity peak...
1. Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up
This will rehydrate the brain and increase alertness. But make sure you wait 90 minutes for your first coffee, as if interferes with the body’s production of cortisol, the hormone that kickstarts alertness
2. Go outside first thing in the morning for at least 30 minutes.
Exposure to bright light prompts the body to produce alertness hormones.
3. Don’t waste your peak on tasks that don’t need much concentration
Things such as emails, social media and housework should be saved the for the after-lunch trough.
4. Make to-do lists and lay out clothes the night before
That way your brain isn’t overloaded with micro-decisions at its peak.
5. Stay off all screens for at least an hour before bed
The blue light they emit stops the body producing the sleep hormone melatonin.
What it's really like to launch a home-delivery business: 3 entrepreneurs share their stories
Home deliveries have become a winning business for these three women
By Kim Willis •
Here's how Prince Harry has been tending to Meghan Markle during her pregnancy
Royal experts say he's been fantastic
By Danielle Valente •
This sell-out waterproof vibrator has a massive 90% off right now
Sit back and relax during solo play
By Emma Dooney •
Can't sleep? Netflix's Headspace shares 3 vital tips for a good night's rest
The new Netflix series aims to help you get the sleep you deserve at night with expert-backed techniques
By Rylee Johnston •
10 of the best health books for transforming your wellbeing
From books exploring the menopause to mindful eating, here are 10 health books worth buying
By Natalia Lubomirski •
The best movie sex scenes of all time – and how to recreate them at home
Starring in one of the best movie sex scenes can be easier than you think with our simple tricks and tips...
By Faye M Smith •
Why showering every day is bad for your health
This Morning's health expert Dr. Chris has revealed health problems associated with frequently washing yourself
By Selina Maycock •
This is how to combat the negative effects low estrogen levels have on your skin
But don't worry—there's help
By Danielle Valente •
Don't panic, but stress is silently wreaking havoc on your body
Constant stress may be doing more damage than you think
By Rylee Johnston •
5 early signs of hearing loss - and what to do about it
Look out for these early signs of hearing loss and get the treatment you need
By Ciara McGinley •