Night Owls vs Morning Larks

Wake Up! at Central

As a young, impressionable thing, despite very clearly being a ‘night owl’, I have at many times been made to feel as if I should be a ‘morning lark’ instead as the morning sun is beautiful, or it’s a waste of power to be up working in the middle of the night when you should be working when there’s sunlight, or a whole other plethora of reasons. For a change though, perhaps there’s something to this ‘night owl’ thing, even though I don’t consider it to really apply for me.

[W]hile many early risers outperform night owls in school, researchers said the late risers surpass their counterparts later in the workforce. [...] Though outliers such as former U.S. President George W. Bush, Thomas Edison and Ernest Hemingway achieved phenomenal success as early risers, such people on average tend to make good civil servants and accountants, whereas later risers tend to demonstrate traits linked to greater occupational success and higher incomes.

A quote from an old article linked to me by Colleague Jane today. Is there something to this night owl thing?

As much as we may imagine waking up at 11am to head into work though (what bliss), what constitutes as a ‘night owl’s hours are not entirely clear (from the little I’ve read, because I need to head to bed - HAH!). How much division is there between the hours that defines what is a late sleeper and an early riser?

No matter what, society isn’t going to change anytime soon from the rigid hours it keeps, which are set to ‘make the most of the light’, and a specific advantage for what I would term the morning larks. If night owls performed badly in school because of the hours kept, this really is no different to workforce hours which are longer, if anything. Even if somehow night owls are more intelligent somehow, the debilitating effects of lack of sleep will always give a helping hand into achieving quite the opposite.

Still, it’s an interesting consideration that those that sleep later are more creative and extroverted and inquisitive, while those that sleep earlier are more logical and better at deduction. As with everything though, nothing is ever entirely clear cut. Me — extroverted? Never.