The Night Owl Gets the Worm


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            Everybody knows the saying "The early bird gets the worm", which I'm sure is true and all but what about the night owl? Studies show that his preference of the late night life can get him the worm just as easily as the early bird who prefers the early morning life (Take that, early risers).

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            One such way that the night owl gets ahead of the early bird is in terms of creativity. Jim Horne a professor at Loughborough University says, "Evening types tend to be the more extrovert creative types, the poets, artists and inventors, while the morning types are the deducers, as often seen with civil servants and accountants." I can speak to this statement, as I am a total extrovert and also a night owl. Various studies have shown that while the night owls are more social, early birds are more logical. Because of this type of personality, night owls tend to be more successful than their early bird counter parts and are also more likely to yield higher incomes and hold more prestigious positions. A great deal of these differences in sleeping patters as well as personalities is innate and can be attributed to nature. However, they also come from the environment we were raised in, how we operated on a daily basis growing up and even the climate.

            Another way night owls get ahead of early birds is that when evening rolls around they experience higher productivity. So, after a long day of work, a night owl is less likely to feel totally drained as compared to early birds who experience their energy peak at around 9 in the morning where it slowly decreases at a constant rate from then on (whomp). In fact, researchers of the University of Southampton also found that night owls might be adversely affected by morning schedules.

            Though the benefits to being a night owl are clear, there are many drawbacks like prolonged grogginess or inability to relax both physically and mentally. Also there are plenty of upsides to being an early bird like being more proactive and a less stressful commute. Either way, whether you are a night owl or an early riser, if you're unhappy, it's always to possible to change that by making lifestyle adjustments. Who knows? You may actually be better as an an early riser if you're currently a night owl and vice versa.

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4 Comments

I'm an early bird some days, and a night owl on others. I found it interesting that I can relate to characteristics found within both categories. Who would have thought that a simple preference of when you like to be awake correlates to so much more! Personality traits are an interest of mine, and they really do allow you to know only getting a better understanding of yourself, but they help you learn how to understand and interact with others. I found an article that tested the validity of personality tests, a fad that many people seem to enjoy. They found that like most things, some are better than others, but on average they work pretty well.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18723950

In high school, I considered myself an early bird, mainly because when my alarm went off, I was wide awake and ready for the day. I made it through all of my classes, finished my school work for the day, and then went to cheer practice. I would go to bed between 11pm and 12am and then start the next morning all over again at 6am. Now that I am in college, I have found that I get a lot more worst done later at night rather than in the morning. I fall asleep around 2am-3am and wake up around 10am. On the mornings I wake up early, I waste time sitting around my room eating cereal. Then as night time rolls around, everything gets quiet, which makes it easier to study. When I take a step back, I see how being an early bird worked better for me in high school and being a night owl is working better for me in college. The information in these studies may be true, however I feel that it depends on the age groups.

I am a total night owl, I can stay up till the early morning and still be doing things that are productive. I consider myself an extrovert as well since all of my friends call me a social butterfly. This post is great because everyone assumes that if you wake up early you are going to be more productive than someone who stayed up all night and wakes up a little later. I get a lot of stuff done in short bursts throughout the day but when night hits I get everything I needed done and out of the way. I also found that studying later has helped me on tests for some odd reason when I hear all the time to get a good nights sleep and study earlier in the day. When you're in college you participate in a lot of activities that take place in the late afternoon so I have always worked around my busy schedule which forces me to get most of my work done at night which actually helps me more than waking up early and doing it when all I want to do is get back in my bed and sleep a little bit more. I think I've always been a night owl because even when I was younger I would stay up even after my parents put me to bed either reading a book or starting on other homeworks which in the end helped my school performance anyways!

Laura, you're 100% right. Age definitely does play a role in how much sleep you require and thus, how productive you can be at certain times during the day. Check out this article for some more information about sleep as it pertains to age! It also has a pretty cool chart that breaks down sleep needs by age in a simple way!

http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need

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