Night owl or morning lark?

Turns out your college major says more about you than you may think. Or, at least, more about your sleep habits.

A new study shows that the college majors people choose are associated with their natural inclinations to be night owls or morning larks, according to a story in Huffington Post.

The study included 1,200 college juniors and seniors representing 30 majors. The students completed questionnaires about their sleep preferences. Nearly 500 of the students answered additional questions about their actual sleep habits, according to a news release from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

The researchers found that nutrition majors are early birds, while management science and information systems and administration of justice majors are night owls.

Media majors had the highest average self-reported sleep deficit (yawn), sleeping 3 to 3.6 hours less than desired.

Speech communication majors, on the other hand, had the lowest average sleep deficit, sleeping only 10 to 18 minutes less than desired, according to the news release.

“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 told the Huffington Post.

Marissa Harshman

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at or 360-735-4546.

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