It seems like there are two kinds of people in the world: early birds and night owls. While early birds may “get the worm,” as they say, science has shown that those of us who prefer to stay up late and work into the night may actually get more done than our early-to-rise counterparts. Here’s what science has to say about the benefits of those of us who like to stay up late.
1. Night Owls Are Smarter
Psychology Today examined a study that found that, biologically, humans in a traditional society have sleep patterns that are designed advantage of the sunlight. So generally, we rise around dawn and go to sleep shortly after dusk. But over course, modern life—that 5:00 a.m. Pilates class with your favorite teacher, or a birthday celebration that stretches into the wee hours of the morning—has slightly changed the parameters. But one constant this study found was that, when looking at a group of young Americans, those with lower IQ scores tended to go to bed earlier than those with higher scores.
2. Night Owls Feel Energized Later in the Day
Some people wake up ready to take on the world, even before their first cup of coffee. Studies have found that night owls, on the other hand, tend to get a burst of energy in the evening. While this might be frustrating if you, say, have to be up at 4 a.m. to catch a flight, it’s great news if you need to stay up late to work on a big project.
3. Night Owls Are More Creative
If you’re a true night owl, chances are you look at early birds as, well, a little bit square. Turns out there’s a reason for this. A study in Milan found that night owls tend to be more creative than their professional counterparts that consider themselves morning people. There are all sorts of reasons why this may be the case, but the general consensus is that night owls live by their own rules, which is the source of both their later bedtimes and their creativity.
4. Night Owls Are More Successful
What do Barack Obama, James Joyce, and Charles Darwin have in common? They’re all night owls. In addition to being smarter and more creative, history and science have found that night owls tend to be more successful in life. As the Independent points out, his may be because night owls are more social and people-oriented, both of which are things that are crucial to success.
What time of day are you most productive?