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Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Listening to WHYY the other morning on my way into work, I was intrigued by a program profiling a town in Germany that has come to be known as Chrono City. People fall into 3 categories or “chronotypes” when it comes to circadian rhythms and sleep: you might be a morning person, a night owl or maybe a little of both. Chrono City has begun a project to record all of its resident’s chronotypes in a database.

Living outside of your chronotype can cause lots of health problems including poor memory, depression, obesity and an increased risk for cancer. Chrono City hopes to someday rearrange its societal schedule to take advantage of varying chronotypes. Work and school might start at different times for different people, Daylight Savings Time might be abolished. At the very least, lighting in buildings and offices could be used to manipulate an circadium rhythms so that people can perform at their highest potential.

Time, rhythm, productivity, creativity – they are all intertwined. Time and rhythm are major themes in all types of art. Visual Artists such as Georges DeChirico and Salvatore Dali used clock imagery in their paintings again and again. Repetitive, rhythmic imagery such as Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup Silkscreen prints have a subconscious appeal to viewers. In fact, a recent study found that the appeal of repetition translates to music as well: people tend to like music that is highly repetitious. It is easier (and more comforting) to be able to anticipate what comes next.

What chronotype are you? When are you most creative? Is it during Majors or Minors, during Afternoon Art or Late-Night Fun Time? Maybe someday camp might be inspired by Chrono City and start tailoring its schedule to complement all of its campers circadian rhythms!

Melissa Tevere
Head of North and Camper Coordinator