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. 2016 Nov 29;2(11):e00200.
doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2016.e00200. eCollection 2016 Nov.

Morningness-eveningness in a Large Sample of German Adolescents and Adults

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Free PMC article

Morningness-eveningness in a Large Sample of German Adolescents and Adults

Christoph Randler et al. Heliyon. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

People differ in their sleep-wake behavior. This individual difference is conceptualized in different aspects, such as wake up times, bed times, times of peak performance, as well as in morning affect. A total of 14,987 visitors of an exhibition in the LWL State Museum of Natural History, Münster (Germany), did the survey on chronotype and gave their consent that these data can be used for a scientific study. Age groups were coded into 5-year bins. Mean age (mean ± SD) was 28.2 ± 17.5 years. There were 8075 females (54%) and 6912 males in the sample. The German version of the rMEQ (reduced Morningness-Eveningness-Questionnaire) was used for data collection. The data showed clear age effects. Younger children are more morning oriented and become rapidly evening oriented during puberty, while the more attenuated turn towards morningness occurs from the age of 20 years. Then between the ages 25 to 30 morningness-eveningness remained rather stable. Significant gender differences existed in the reproductive age, i.e., the age groups 20 to 50 (corresponding to the age 16-50 years). In other age groups, no gender differences could be detected. Seasonal effects were also found. Chronotype score was lowest during the summer months (and more evening oriented). Based on the single item analysis of the five questions of the rMEQ, we found age group differences in all items. Gender differences occurred in all items except item 1, which deals with the preferred wake-up time. Men always scored significantly lower (i.e. more evening oriented) than women except in item 2 (tiredness after awakening). Seasonal effects were only significant in item 3, which is related to preferred bed times. People showed a later bed time preference during summer. The classification of chronotypes according to the cut-off scores provided by Adan and Almirall (1991) and by using the 20/80 percentile provided identical cut-off scores (values of 11 and below for evening types and 18 and above for morning types).

Keywords: Developmental Biology; Psychology.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Chronotype across age groups. The rMEQ scores are depicted separately for males (open rectangles) and females (filled dots).
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Comparison of seasons for item—3 (preferred bed time). Estimated marginal means derived from the general linear model. Low values represent high evening preference.
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
Comparison of gender differences across age groups for item—1 (preferred get-up time). Estimated marginal means derived from the general linear model. Low values represent late wake-up times.
Fig. 4
Fig. 4
Comparison of gender differences across age groups for item—2 (feeling after awakening). Estimated marginal means derived from the general linear model. High values represent high/positive feelings after awakening.
Fig. 5
Fig. 5
Comparison of gender differences across age groups for item—3 (preferred bed time). Estimated marginal means derived from the general linear model. Low values represent high evening preference (late bedtimes).
Fig. 6
Fig. 6
Comparison of gender differences across age groups for item—4 (feeling best peak). Estimated marginal means derived from the general linear model. Low values represent late feeling best peaks.
Fig. 7
Fig. 7
Comparison of gender differences across age groups for item—5 (self-assessment). Estimated marginal means derived from the general linear model. Low values represent high evening preference.

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