06/07/2013 08:25 am ET Updated Jun 13, 2013

College Majors Associated With Likelihood Of Being Night Owl, Lark: Study

Did you major in nutrition? Chances are you're a morning person, according to a new study.

Research presented at the annual SLEEP 2013 meeting shows that the college majors people choose are associated with their natural inclinations to be night owls or morning larks.

Pennsylvania State University researchers found that people who majored in Management Science & Information Systems or Administration of Justice were more likely to be "evening types," while Nutrition majors were more likely to be "morning types."

Researchers also found that students majoring in Media were the most likely to be sleep-deprived, getting anywhere from 3 to 3.6 fewer hours of sleep than they would like to on both weekends and weekdays. Meanwhile, Speech Communication majors reported the smallest sleep deficits, getting just 10 to 18 fewer minutes of sleep than they would like to on weekends and weekdays.

The study is based on data from 1,200 college juniors and seniors, who together represented 30 majors. They took questionnaires about their morning or evening preferences, and 492 of those students went on to complete questionnaires about their actual sleep and wake times and durations.

"A mismatch of job time and biological time, as well as intolerance to partial sleep loss, can negatively influence peak job and school performance. It can become a stressor and increase on-the job errors or accidents," study author Frederick M. Brown, Ph.D., told HuffPost in an email after the conference. "Not only that, individuals who show strong aptitude for certain professions may be dissuaded from pursuing them in favor of following their preferred morning vs. evening active routine. In addition, they may become dissuaded if university time-of-day scheduling of coursework in those majors is in conflict with their biologically suitable times of day."

What do you think about these findings? How much do you think people in your college major slept? Tell us in the comments!



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