Night Owls And Early Birds: Everything You Need To Know

Depending on which part of the day you are most energetic, most people are categorized under 2 broad groups- The night owls and the early birds.

The night owls are people who tend to be awake with no stress and discomfort at night and even past midnight.

On the other hand, early birds are morning people. Those who go smoothly with the traditional routine of sleeping at night and experiencing an energy boost in the mornings. These people are not likely to handle night activities or projects.

Some research have stated that the reason anyone fits into either of the group is determined by biological clocks in several parts of the body. The difference between the two have been linked to genetic compositions of the Circadian Timing System.

The Circadian Timing System is a biological process of sleep-wake patterns, that display an oscillation of about 24 hours. Circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle, responding primarily to light and darkness in an organism’s environment.

According to Business Insider,

“More women (48.4%) than men (39.7%) said they were morning people. And people over 60 (63.1%) were much more likely to prefer mornings than people under 30 (24.2%), which fits with previous research that found older people tend to rise earlier.”

See Also: Top 5 Reasons Why You Need To Get Some Sleep


As the name implies, people under this group are being represented with the typical characteristics of an owl. An owl is nocturnal bird that stays past midnight and at some other times, just before or after dawn.

Night Owls

In that regard, night owls are the group of people who can comfortably stay up late at night. These are the kinds of people who can flow with night-shifts at workplaces.

Common Features Of Being A Night Owl

By contrast,there was one gene they found to be more common in evening people, known as the FTO gene, which has been linked to obesity.

  • Night Owls may have a higher IQ and can stay mentally alert for longer after waking up than early birds.
  • Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary scientist at the London School of Economics and Political Science, found that “More intelligent children are more likely to grow up to be nocturnal adults who go to bed late and wake up late on both weekdays and weekends.”
  • Night Owls may have a physical advantage over early birds because of the night energy boom. Olle Lagerquist, the co-author of the study says that at 9pm, night persons seem to experience “increased motor cortex and spinal cord excitability.”
  • They tend to be more creative.
  • Most likely to battle sleep disorder like insomnia or sleep apnea.
  • Evening persons commonly have the FTO gene which is linked to a high body mass index(BMI), obesity risk, and type II diabetes.

See Also: Make A Stressful Time Bearable By Doing These

Early Bird( A Lark)

A lark is a bird that is the opposite of the owl. It starts the day very early. Thus the group of people that easily fall asleep at night but rise early are regarded as early birds.

Night Owls

Larks commonly sleep from around 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. or earlier. Unlike night owls, they are most energetic in the mornings. These are the kinds of people that are good for day shifts but are less enthused about night activities.

Common Features Of Being A Lark

  • They tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) than night owls.
  • Early Birds sleep better.
  • Their personalities are more flexible.
  • A University of Toronto study concludes that they are happier and healthier.
  • Larks are less likely to sleep-walk, sweat while sleeping or have sleeping disorders.
  • Christoph Randler, a biology professor at the University of Education in Heidelberg, says early birds are more positioned for success.

Note: It is also worthy to mention that societal pressures particularly from work and family life schedules may configure one into a particular chronotype.

The different stages of life may play a role in whichever pattern one exhibits. In other words, some people can go from one to another depending on their life activities at the different stages of their lives.