Ever since I can remember, I was never much of an early riser. In fact, I’m quite the opposite. Every opportunity I get to sleep in I take full advantage. Waking up early not only seems crazy to me, but just down right impossible. Common sense would tell you that people who start the day early are probably more productive; they give themselves more time to accomplish work. However, I wanted to know for sure if I was truly at a disadvantage.
For starters, people who sleep late, or “night owls,” are more likely to drink and smoke. A Finnish study of 676 people found that night owls were much more likely to start smoking and have a harder time quitting. Another study of 537 people found that night owls consume much more alcohol as well. In a study of 1231 German university students, it was concluded that people who start the day early are much more agreeable, conscientious, and proactive than night owls. Lastly, early risers are overall happier people. In a study done by two University of Toronto psychologists, they looked at 732 people (aged 17-79) and found that people who start the day early are have a much more positive mood than those who like to sleep in.
People who start the day early are generally better off than night owls. While causation is certainly not proven, it’s hard to ignore all of these observational studies. It turns out I probably am at a disadvantage, so it might be worth a try to start the day earlier and see how it goes.