Quiz: Are you a night owl or an early bird?

By: Renata L. Riha, MD

Author: Canadian Living


Quiz: Are you a night owl or an early bird?

By: Renata L. Riha, MD

The following questionnaire is based on a longer questionnaire first published in 1976 and known as the Horne-Ostberg test. It explores whether you have a tendency to function better towards the end of a 24-hour day or at the beginning of one. Consider each question in turn and choose one response which best describes you. When you have answered all the questions, add up the score for each response. The final score will give you some indication of whether you are more of an "evening" person or a "morning" person.

1. Breakfast: how is your appetite in the first half hour after you wake up in the morning?
Very poor (1)
b) Fairly poor (2)
c) Fairly good (3)
d) Very good (4)

2. How do you feel for the first half hour after you wake up in the morning?
Very tired (1)
b) Fairly tired (2)
c) Fairly refreshed (3)
d) Very refreshed (4)

3. When you have no commitments the next day, at what time do you go to bed compared to your
usual bedtime?
Seldom or never later (4)
b) Less than 1 hour later (3)
c) 1–2 hours later (2)
d) More than 2 hours later (1)

4. You are starting a new fitness regime. A friend suggests joining his fitness class between 7am and 8am. How do you think you'd perform?
Would be on good form (4)
b) Would be on reasonable form (3)
c) Would find it difficult (2)
d) Would find it very difficult (1)

5. At what time in the evening do you feel tired and in need of sleep?
8pm–9pm (5)
b) 9pm–10.15pm (4)
c) 10.15pm–12.45am (3)
d) 12.45am–2am (2)
e) 2am–3am (1)

6. If you went to bed at 11pm, how tired would you be?
Not at all tired (0)
b) A little tired (2)
c) Fairly tired (3)
d) Very tired (5)

7. One night you have to remain awake between 4am and 6am. You have no commitments the next day. Which suits you best?
Not to go to bed until 6am (1)
b) Nap before 4am and after 6am (2)
c) Sleep before 4am and nap after 6am (3)
d) Sleep before 4am and remain awake after 6am (4)

8. At what time of day do you feel your best?
Midnight–5am (1)
b) 5am–9am (5)
c) 9am–11am (4)
d) 11am–5pm (3)
e) 5pm–10pm (2)
f) 10pm–midnight (1)

9. Do you think of yourself as a morning or evening person?
Morning type (6)
b) More morning than evening (4)
c) More evening than morning (2)
d) Evening type (0)

10. Suppose that you can choose your own work hours, but had to work 5 hours in a day. When would you like to START your working day?
Midnight–5am (1)
b) 3am–8am (5)
c) 8am–10am (4)
d) 10am–2pm (3)
e) 2pm–4pm (2)
f) 4pm–midnight (1)

Scoring: Add up the number of circled points that you scored for each answer to find out just how much of a lark or an owl you are. The maximum number of points you can get from this questionnaire is 46 and the minimum is 8. The higher your score, the more of a morning lark you are. The lower your score, the more of a night owl you are, and you probably function better in the evenings. The majority of people come somewhere between these two extremes.

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Excerpted from Sleep: Your Questions Answered by Renata L. Riha, MD. Copyright 2007 by Renata L. Riha, MD. Excerpted with permission from Dorling Kindersley. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher.


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Quiz: Are you a night owl or an early bird?