Are Early Birds More Successful Than Night Owls [Infographic] 101

early birds vs. night owls

This is a guest post by Brittany Thompson – a writer for Affordable Schools, who adores creating articles and graphics on different aspects of higher education, college debt, college costs & to help students get smart.

The question has been asked, who has it better, early birds or night owls?

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 with 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 are risk takers too, which can translate to more success and higher salaries in the business world.

The following infographic takes a look at the Early Bird versus the Night Owl in terms of 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.

Does the Early Bird Get the Worm?

Why is sleep so important?

A graph displays self-report sleep difficulties among 20-year-olds. Nearly half report insufficient or poor sleep affecting activities at least once in the past 7 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 2 deaths per day.

How did our ancestors sleep?

Members of tribes had different sleep schedules, rotating guard shifts while others slept.

Prior to 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 7am and 3pm. Meanwhile Sigmund Freud was a night owl who did most of his work from 3pm to 9pm and then from 11am to 1pm.

The brain makeup of the Early Bird and the Night Owl

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 11am and night owls passing away before 6pm.


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 birds truly get the worm. At present, both seem to be working well within their set patterns and finding success either day or night.

So what do you think? Which type are you and how is that working out for you?

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10 Things Uber Successful People Do in the Morning 32

10 Things Uber Successful People Do in the Morning

Who doesn’t want to be successful? Whatever our purpose in life may be, we want to achieve success with it. Although success is usually perceived as career growth, it also encompasses personal growth. These two things go together.

So what can we do to reach the personal and professional growth of uber successful people? Maybe we can imitate some of their habits. Their morning rituals, in particular, set the pace of the day.

Did you know that the way you start your mornings affects your entire day?

You probably felt that, but guess what: science proves it as a fact, too.

In a study called “Waking up on the wrong side of the bed: start-of-workday mood, work events, employee affect, and performance,” researchers found that whatever the mood of workers was during the morning, they preserved it throughout the entire day.

So if you start off in a good mood, you have greater chances of having a great day. That’s why morning routines are so important.

Let’s learn from the ultra successful people, shall we? How do they start their mornings?

What The Most Successful Do in The Morning

1. Spend Time with the Partner.


As we said, success is not only about professional achievements. It also means having the right person by your side.

Take Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan as an example. They are both crazy successful, and they are definitely happy to have each other.

Waking up next to the person you love makes every morning special. Appreciate that moment. Have a coffee together. Talk. Be glad you’re there for each other.

2. Mindfulness.

Yes; mindfulness is a habit.

Successful people are always busy. Can you imagine a hectic morning with dozens of urgent email messages, business partners calling, and the kids yelling? And they are still in their pajamas! That’s why they practice mindfulness.

Researchers from The University of Sydney found that mindfulness reduces work-related stress and improves the mood at work. That’s why successful people always seem ready to deal with any situation.

So how do you practice mindfulness in the morning?

Just wake up. Take few deep breaths. Be aware of the present moment. Be aware of the responsibilities the day ahead will bring. Relax, and tell yourself that you’re ready.

3. Plan the Day.

A good plan will set you on the right track.

Plan your tasks for the day in the morning. When you have such an outline, it will be easier to handle all responsibilities. You’ll know you’ll have time for all tasks.

If you realize there’s not enough time, you should plan how to outsource. If, for example, you cannot complete a business report, you can hire assignment masters to write or edit it for you.

4. Exercise.

I know; it’s a cliché. However, it’s also an activity that works.

Physical exercise makes you fitter, but it also makes you happierWhen you’re done with your morning exercise ritual, you feel at ease, and things start to clear up.

Most successful people exercise. Hillary Clinton does yoga. Obama works out for 45 minutes six days per week. Mark Cuban does cardio fitness. Follow their example!

5. Practice Patience.

Too many things ahead? If your schedule is busy, you’ll be eager to get things done ASAP. The morning is the period of the day when you should practice patience. Relax.

You already made a plan. There’s time for everything. You’ll get through the day. For now, cherish this precious moment of morning relaxation.

6. Juice Up.

How to Win The 9-to-5 Battle by Staying Healthy at Work

It’s no wonder why so many celebrities are into the latest juice detox trend. Healthy juices give you valuable nutrients and make you feel more energized.

Have a different juice every single morning. Sure, the juicer will take some cleaning after, but the juice will certainly give you enough energy for that.

7. Eat Breakfast.

You saw this coming, didn’t you?

Uber successful people know that the breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s even better when it’s healthy.

Yes; the juice can be your breakfast, but it won’t make you feel full for long. If you don’t intend to have a standard breakfast, pack some fruit for work. A banana and an apple are mandatory!

8. Hydrate.

Have a glass of water as soon as you wake up. Hydration is essential for the way your entire system functions.

9. Be With the Right People.

In Tools of Titans, author Timothy Ferriss refers to a so-called “five chimps theory” in zoology. According to that theory, you can predict the behavior of any chimp if you analyze the five chimps they usually hang out with.

There’s a lot of wisdom in that theory. When you surround with nervous people, you’re nervous, too. When you surround yourself with positive characters, you reflect good vibes, too.

The first people you contact in the morning will set the mood for your day. Choose them carefully.

10. Celebrate Achievements.

When you wake up with a positive mindset, you’ll boost your chances of spending a good day.

Instead of thinking about all obstacles ahead, you should take time to think about all achievements you’ve made towards your current goals. This appreciation will convince you that you’re on the right track.

When we sum things up, all these morning habits of the ultra successful people seem pretty simple, don’t they?

However, it takes tons of persistence and commitment to stay true to them. Start by making small steps. Pick few of these activities and repeat them every day, until they turn into habits.   

Cathy Baylis is a personal growth expert who writes insightful articles that motivate and challenge others. She has worked as a writer for a little over a decade now, and owns several blogs that she updates on her free time.