The brains of early risers and those of night owls function differently, reveals a study conducted by University of Alberta scientists.
The researchers looked at two groups of people: those who wake up early and feel most productive in the morning, and those who were identified as evening people, those who typically felt livelier at night.
They grouped the participants in accordance with the information about their habits, gathered using a standardized questionnaire.
The scientists later used magnetic resonance imaging-guided brain stimulation to test muscle torque and the excitability of pathways through the spinal cord and the brain.
They observed that the brains of early risers were most excitable at 9 a.m. That slowly decreased through the day, according to the research team.
On the other hand, say the researchers, the brains of evening people were found to be most excitable at 9 p.m.
The researchers also observed that evening people became physically stronger throughout the day, but the maximum amount of force morning people could produce remained the same.
They also found that the excitability of reflex pathways, which travel through the spinal cord, increased over the day for both groups.
The researchers say that these findings suggest that nervous-system functions are different and have implications for maximizing human performance.
A research article on the findings has been published in the Journal of Biological Rhythms.