February 03, 2020

Night Owl vs. Early Bird

When we think of sleep, we identify ourselves as one of two categories... You're either a “night owl” or an “early bird.” If you are a night owl, you tend to have more energy in the evening and go to bed later. Night owls don't enjoy mornings, but are happy to stay up all night long working, hanging out with friends, etc. An early bird, on the other hand, follows the “early-to-bed, early-to-rise” regimen and are more productive in the morning as opposed to the evening. They tend to go to sleep much earlier than their night owl friends, but then this gives them enough time to wake up earlier, too.

No matter which type of sleeper you are, there's no wrong answer! As long as you get enough sleep, let your body relax, and get your daily tasks done - you can really sleep whenever you want to! So, how do the two types of sleepers differ and which one is considered 'better'? Let's talk about it!


Understanding Your Sleep Chronotype

The label of early bird and night owl are determined both biologically and genetically, however, it can also be defined based on your unique lifestyle, mood, and how you think and sleep. Scientists refer these characteristics as chronotypes. The word chronotype describes an individual’s disposition regarding the time of day when they engage in sleep versus activity. Once you fully understand your sleep chronotypes, you'll be able to figure out if you're a night owl or an early bird!


Where Do the Differences Stem From?

The main difference between a night owl and an early bird is genetic based on their circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is the inner clock that regulates sleep. Another big difference between the two is one’s “social jet lag.” Every brain is equipped with a biological clock, which ultimately controls the production of melatonin, a hormone that makes you sleepy. Fun fact: Many night owls take melatonin tablets to help them fall asleep! These really do work wonders and helps to speed up the process of drifting off for the night.

Social jet lag refers to the lack of synchronization, which occurs when you don’t get enough sunlight and your body becomes confused as to whether it should be awake or asleep. When people travel for long hours, they tend to experience jet lag. They'll land at their destination and depending on the time zone, they may fall asleep way too early or super late at night. Jet lag can be super annoying, so if you know you're going to be traveling on a long flight, then perhaps you should stock up on some melatonin tablets, too! Once you get jet lag, it takes some time to get back to the timing that you're used to, so good luck!


Differences Between a Night Owl and an Early Bird

Here are some of the characteristics that a night owl and an early bird have.

Night Owl

Early Bird

More extravagant and impulsive

May be more persistent

Creative personality

Analytical personality

Spontaneous in decision making

Thinks things out more thoroughly

Have trouble saying no

Tend to be more agreeable

Avoids work or waits until the last minute

Procrastinate less with tasks

Increased stress levels

Lower rate of anxiety and depression


Which One Is Better?

Based on brain studies, research points favorably towards early birds. People who go to bed later can have a higher risk of depression, due to staying up through the early hours of the night and sleeping later into the day. This pattern may leave you feeling sleep deprived, especially when you must wake up early. Considering most tasks, such as work and school, start early in the morning, night owls tend to have a lot of struggle making it on time, getting ready, and even just rolling out of bed. Night owls have also been known to be more likely to develop addictive behaviors, mental disorders, or antisocial tendencies. Therefore, studies have shown that being an early bird is better for your overall health and physical wellbeing.

Don't let the above paragraph scare you! You can still be a night owl and live a happy and active lifestyle. No matter what time you go to bed or wake up in the morning, as long as you're being productive and surrounding yourself with good people - you can be happy and of course, make the most of your time! Here at Warm Things, we're strong believers in sleeping when you want! We don't think being an early bird is 'better' - however, we do enjoy waking up early to get our tasks done quicker! The sooner the tasks are done, the sooner we can get back in bed and relax!


How to Become an Early Bird

So, the biggest question is, can you fight biology and change from a night owl to an early bird? The short answer is yes, you can! It will definitely take some time and dedication for you to get used to waking up early, but it's 100% possible. The best way to overcome your sleep challenges is to adjust the time that you go to bed and the time that you wake up by 15 minutes each night. This will allow your body to adjust to the change gradually. What you are ultimately doing is altering your circadian clock. Additional steps you can take to become an early bird is to start engaging in light activity, such as yoga or stretching, and getting some extra light exposure throughout the day. In time, you'll happily be able to become a morning person and and take on the day much earlier!


Conclusion of Early Bird vs. Night Owl

That was some more information on the differences between an early bird and a night owl. Here's another fun fact for you... Studies have shown that 80% of the population are night owls and 20% are early birds! Again, it doesn't matter which one you are, as long as you're getting your tasks done! There are some people who stay up till 6am working and then sleep until 12... Although we wouldn't prefer to have our sleeping schedules around those times, we don't see anything wrong with it! Sleep is the best regardless of the time!

We'd love to know where you fit in... Are you an early bird or are you a night owl? Make sure to comment down below and let us know why you prefer to be that way. Whether you just enjoy being awake at night watching the stars, or waking up early enough to hear the birds singing, we hope you have a fabulous sleep!

Thank you so much for reading and don't forget to shop our Warm Things online store for products that will ensure that you sleep beautifully throughout the night! We have everything ranging from comforters, pillows, sheets, baby sleeping products, and more!

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