June 4, 2021

Relationship between chronotype and consumption of stimulants

K Siudej & J Malinowska-Bolowska, 2021. Relationship between chronotype and consumption of stimulants, Chronobiology International, published online.


Consumption of some stimulants may lead to health problems. The aim of the study was to identify a potential correlation between extreme chronotypes and the tendency to use various stimulants. The preferred time of consumption was also checked, both on working and nonworking days. The study was conducted in January 2020 using the CAWI method. 306 people took part in the survey. To determine the chronotype of the surveyed people, the polish version of MEQ questionnaire (Morningness – Eveningness Questionnaire) was used. Because 178 respondents were intermediate types, 128 people participated in the second part of the study, including 68 owls and 60 larks. Activity preferences during the day of respondents were checked and compared with data about the quantity and frequency of using stimulants like coffee, energy drinks, alcohol and cigarettes. Chi-square test was used for testing relationships. The time periods for taking stimulants differed between groups and were associated with activity during the day. It has been shown that people with evening chronotype use more energy drinks (p = .009), alcohol drinks (p = .013) and cigarettes or e-cigarettes (p = .021), especially in the group of respondents aged ≥30. Social jet lag was statistically higher in the group of owls and larks; however, consumption of stimulants depended on age and chronotype, not social jet lag. People with the morning chronotype are less likely to use stimulants. Owls showed a greater and more frequent use of energy drinks, alcohol and cigarettes, especially those older than 30 years. Assessing eveningness among people aged more than 30 may be helpful in characterizing an overall risk profile.

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