Morning types seem to have all of the advantages. They aren't only less depressed and more successful, as a previous studies reported – they tend to avoid a particularly bad habit that can destroy your health. More night owls tend to be smokers, and quitting can be more difficult for them, according to the results of a longitudinal study published in the journal Addiction.
The study’s authors say the findings don’t necessarily mean being a night person will put you at risk for tobacco use. There are several possible explanations why night owls are more likely to smoke.
One may be the type of activities night owls engage in. They may spend more time doing activities in environments that promote smoking, such as socializing at bars or restaurants.
Night owls may also have a tendency to be more sensation-seeking than larks. The brain’s systems that manage addiction and reward-seeking may relate to chronotype, the authors write.
The study compared more than 23,000 pairs of twins for 30 years. Participants were surveyed about their smoking habits once per decade. In their second interview, they answered questions about whether they were evening or morning types.
About thirty percent of the participants answered definitively that they were morning types. 1 in 10 said they are clearly night owls. The rest were somewhere in-between.
During the start of the study, 43 percent of the night owls smoked and 27 percent of morning types smoked. Smoking rates dropped to 35 percent and 21 percent about a decade later. Evening-types were 27 less likely to have quit smoking.
Learn more about evening and morning chronotypes.