Does the Early Bird Really Get the Worm?

Maybe you’ve thought about becoming a morning person? Or like me, you are one? There’s an earlier blogpost with numerous tips to know how you can be more of an early riser.

This post is a combination of an original infographic and post by Brittany Thompson originally appearing on  This infographic takes a look at the Early Bird versus the Night Owl regarding success in careers and how they live their lives. Some studies show that morning people may be more successful in careers, yet night owls are more intelligent and creative gaining that advantage over their morning loving peers.

If you would like to know if more introverts or extroverts are morning people can you help with taking this 30-second quiz. Please share the quiz too, and I’ll report out the findings.

Does the Early Bird Really Get the Worm?

Brittany’s article continues with so why is sleep so important?

A graph displays self-reported sleep difficulties among 20-year-olds. Nearly half report insufficient or poor sleep affecting activities at least once in the past seven days. 35% report sleep quality as poor or fair despite sleeping the recommended amount.

Others report trouble concentrating or remembering things, trouble working on hobbies, even driving and taking care of financial affairs.

Another chart discusses car crashes caused from drowsy drivers. For example in 2005, there were 1,033 out of 39,252 fatal car crashes caused by drowsiness. That was 2.6% of total fatal car crashes. In 2009 2.4% of fatal accidents were caused by sleepy drivers, that’s 730 out of 30,797. This averages about two deaths per day.

Patricia asks: Could you have guessed personality influences sleep?

In my curiosity about how personality affects sleep I found several studies about personality and sleeping. One finding you might find interesting:

Extroverts are more susceptible than introverts to loss of sleep when in social environments.

These findings make sense since we know that if we are more extroverted, we are energized by what’s outside of us.

There you have it: social butterflies can rob themselves of a beauty rest.

Brittany’s article continues answering, How did our ancestors sleep?

Members of tribes had different sleep schedules, rotating guard shifts while others slept. Before electricity, most people went to sleep after dinner as the sun went down and awoke around midnight to check on family and farm animals, then went back to sleep until sunrise. Modern times we are divided into two groups again, the early birds and night owls.

Famous examples of each are Maya Angelou as an early bird, getting most of her work done between 7 am and 3 pm. Meanwhile, Sigmund Freud was a night owl who did most of his work from 3 pm to 9 pm and then from 11 am to 1 pm.

Patricia learns: Half of our sleep preference is inherited

That’s right.

Genes in part determine our preference as early birds or night owls. There is an online quiz contributing to understanding the biological clock and our individual differences in the biological clock. It revolves around just one daily activity, and that is our preference of when we go to bed and when we get up.

You can discover two clocks, our biological clock, and the outside world clocks, and if those clocks are synchronized or not.

It even gives suggestions to try, and either fall asleep later or earlier.

Brittany’s article continues: The question has been asked, who has it better, the early bird or night owl?early-bird-night-owl

Most school schedules and 9 to 5 work schedules lend the advantage to the early birds. Chronically sleeping on an unnatural sleep cycle leads to Social Jet Lag, where people feel exhausted regardless of the amount of sleep they’ve had.

Early birds who are energetic in the morning tend to lose their energy faster than night owls who maintain energy and wakefulness longer overall. After 10 hours of being awake, night owls perform significantly better on reaction time tests. Early birds are less prone to depression and addictions than night owls are.

Night owls tend to be more creative and higher cognitive abilities than their day loving counterparts. They are also more likely to explore the unknown and are more curious by nature. Night owls also are risk takers, which can translate to more success and higher salaries in the business world.

The brain makeup of the Early Bird and the Night Owl is even different.

The early bird has more white matter, which is what helps neurons communicate. It’s believed that this can be responsible for the early birds being more optimistic, proactive, and resilient toward depression and anxiety.

The night owls have more cortisol, which is a stress hormone that helps prepare the body and mind for high-stress situations. This high level of cortisol could be what is responsible for the heightened cognitive abilities and performance in the high-stakes business world.

Times of death for early birds and night owls seem to follow their life pattern, with early birds more likely to die before 11 am and night owls passing away before 6 pm.

There are tips for how to change your cycle, and it’s possible that one person can be both an early bird and a night owl at different times in their lives.

The truth is, there is no real verdict yet as to whether night owls are really more successful or if the early bird truly gets the worm. At present, both seem to be working well within their set patterns and finding success either day or night.

This post is provided by .


Did you take the quiz? Or even without it …

What are you – an early bird or a night owl?


Sign Up Now

* We don't like spam either so we won't share your email with anyone else.

About guestauthor


  1. Personally am a night owl and have since childhood tried to adapt to getting up early. But unfortunately it doesn’t work. Sure I can get up and handle it but my results are not as good as when I can sleep a bit longer.

    Recently a lot of academic researchers all over the world have made studies and concluded that we should not start working or go to school until 10.00 hours. According to them the world would gain enormously from not insisting on starting at 08.00 hours or, even worse, earlier.
    catarina.alexon recently posted…Will more investors opt for impact investment?My Profile

  2. This is wonderful, Patricia. It really goes to show that we should know more about who we are so we can better be productive throughout the day. I am a morning person. I knew this. Over the years,I figured out that I am more productive from 7:30 AM – 1:00 PM. But from 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM I go and do more physical tasks and then, I can do some other tasks from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM. It works well for me. Thanks for sharing.
    Sabrina Quairoli recently posted…30 Desk Items To Throw Away For A Tidy SpaceMy Profile

  3. This is so interesting. I was a night owl from the time I was in high school. I always felt my best at night and I never felt good if I got up early in the morning, even if I had gone to bed extra early to do so. Once I married my husband, I got woken up my him early in the morning due to his schedule. He is also a night person, but has always had jobs that cause him to wake early. Well, somehow in the last few years I actually trained myself to be a morning person. I’m now super energetic in the morning and full of energy. So I’m not sure where that places me on the spectrum of night or morning person. I guess I’m just adaptable. Sometimes I remember my days of staying up all night and miss it. But all and all, I’m happy being an early riser.
    Erica recently posted…Bloated? Depressed? The Reason You Feel Like CrapMy Profile

  4. I am a night owl by nature. Around 10/11pm I get a surge of energy. This is my most productive time to read or write. I wake early 5 days a week – before 6am. This is out of necessity rather than because I want to.

    I do quite well considering I have around 5 hours a night. Recently I took a 2 week break over Christmas and I think my body went into shock with all the rest it received!
    Phoenicia recently posted…Multitasking: The good and the not so good!My Profile

  5. I took the test and it declared me to be an early bird loud and clear but then I already knew that. After about 4pm I become totally useless. I am actually best from 5am to 9am.
    And what they say about early birds totally is me – I am optimistic, proactive and resilient. Neat teast.

  6. This was very interesting. I have always been more if a morning person, but find that may be changing a bit over the past couple of years.

  7. Jacqueline Gum

    Always been an early bird. I think the studies regarding who is more productive are so fascinating. Still waiting for my results from the quiz. Though I don’t know that I have a real burning desire to change my habits:) That probably has more to do with my age! Laugh!
    Jacqueline Gum recently posted…A Break For Where’s The JusticeMy Profile

    • I would figure you as an early bird Jacqueline! Wow you should’ve gotten those results instantly. I’m not sure if you still have interest or time but come back and give it a try and let me know.
      Patricia Weber recently posted…Does the Early Bird Really Get the Worm?My Profile

    • Jacqueline Gum

      Here they are: You are a slight early type. This chronotype gets approximately the same amount of sleep on both work and free days. Because work schedules are normally adjusted to the wake-up times
      of slightly early types and because you can easily adjust your sleep to a slightly later time on a
      free evening, you should have the least problems of all chronotypes to synchronise your
      biological clock with social schedules.
      Jacqueline Gum recently posted…A Break For Where’s The JusticeMy Profile

      • I don’t think I was always an early bird but … my memory could be wrong.

        This is me Jacqueline:
        You are a moderate early type. This chronotype sometimes gets too little sleep on free days: the social environment lures moderate early types into staying up later at night than their biological clock would prefer, yet they still awaken in the morning, under the control of their biological clock, at their usual early hour.
        Patricia Weber recently posted…Top Ten 2015 Actually Revealing Blogposts for #IntrovertsMy Profile

  8. Based on the quiz, I’m a night owl, which is what I would have expected. I always thought of myself as such until I married someone who is even less energetic in the morning and has far more difficulty getting out of bed and then getting ready for anything. So now, I look like the early bird in my household. But it’s all relative I guess. Contrary to some of these findings, my wife is far more extroverted than I am and furthermore on the way home from some type of social engagement she invariably falls asleep.
    Ken Dowell recently posted…A Toxic Tale of DuPont and the Pompton LakeMy Profile

  9. Jeannette Paladino

    Patricia — I took test and it confirmed what I already know: I’m a night owl. I stay up way too late but I’m still very productive. You can train yourself to get up earlier, as Erica, said. For years, while I was working for companies and agencies, I got up every morning at 6 and most days took a run/walk around the Central Park reservoir, before it was even light out. But as soon as I went back into my own business I reverted to my true nature.

  10. The early bird gets the worm, but it is the 2nd mouse who gets the cheese from the trap.
    You spoke of people sleeping after sunset, and waking up at midnight. In medieval times, it was called the 2nd sleep. During the time between sleeping, farmers did not you stated, but it was more than them. Monks used this time to read manuscripts, the royalty to write laws etc.
    As for me, I am a night owl, and it is very difficult for me to get up and work from 9-5.
    Thanks for sharing this with us.

  11. What a great blog! Learnt something – I am an early bird! Thank you for sharing

  12. Hello Patricia.

    How are you?

    Guess we are more of night owls – my wife and I – but we would like to be early birds instead of working long hours into the night and ruining our health.

    Very interesting info you have shared on how early birds tend to lose their energy faster, as compared with night owls.

    Great stats in this post.

    Thanks for sharing.


Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This