Early Bird vs. Night Owl

Do you consider yourself an early bird?


Image courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

Or are you a night owl?


Image courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

Sorry to break it to the owls, but if you’re waking up early, you’re reaping more than just the proverbial worm.

A new study from the University of Toronto suggests that morning people are actually happier and more satisfied with their lives.

Researchers targeted two age groups: one ranging from age 17 to 38, and the second from 59 to 79. Both groups filled out questionnaires about their emotional state, their general health, and their preferred time of day.

The results showed a gradual transition over time, from night owl to early bird. By age 60, most of us inevitably become “morning people.” Only about seven percent of the population retains night-owl status.

“We found that older adults reported greater positive emotion than younger adults, and older adults were more likely to be morning-type people than younger adults,” said graduate researcher Renee Biss in an interview with LiveScience. “The ‘morningness’ was associated with greater happiness emotions in both age groups.”

Wish you could just magically become an early bird?

It could happen …

“One way to do it is to increase your natural light exposure early in the morning, and to wake up earlier and go to bed earlier,” Biss explained. “It’s easiest if you have a consistent schedule, to make sure you are waking up at the same time every day.”

Or …

you could just get a rooster.


Image courtesy of Leaping Frog Designs

Leave a comment 9 Comments

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Love these vintage graphics! Yes, I am an early bird but not the 5am type unless there is sunlight. I can get up at sunrise but have a harder time when it is dark outside. For many years I was getting up at 5:30am every day to go to work and way back in college days, I would get u p at 5a to study for a big test. In these days of retirement, I am not up quite as early but I still prefer early rise! Definitely the night owl days are very few and usually not by choice!

    • MaryJane says:

      I’m finding it harder to recover from the occasional all-nighter when I’m on a deadline. Preferring my bed at age 60! But LOVE early mornings, always have.

  2. Sue Decker-Brown says:

    Ha! I am an early bird. Maybe those of us “Older Early Birds” are just happy because we woke up at all!

  3. When I lived in the mountains and had no neighbors, I positioned my bed to the morning sun and no curtains (it was too beautiful outside anyway). I always woke up with the sun. Now that I’m living forced to live in the city, it’s a little harder to have that exposure. I have curtains on the bottom half of my windows so the sunlight can still stream in.

  4. connie says:

    I’m up 4:30/5am every day. Always been that way. I love hearing the occasional owl while it’s still dark out, the frogs mating call, and right as there’s any hint of daylight, the birds start to sing. It’s the best time of day. It mentally recharges me.

  5. Kay (Old Cowgirl) Montoya says:

    It sure seems for some of us that getting up comes in waves. When I was a little girl I could get up at 6a.m. when I Father would put wood in the stove. Then my teens I could stay up late, even see the sun come up at least twice. Then worked 2 jobs had to get up at 5a.m. to get my girls up and ready and then off to work, off at 5p.m. and on Friday and Saturday’s I would come home at 5p.m., then get dinner bath and get them ready for bed, then babysitter comes at 6:30p.m. and off to my second job then home again at 2:30a.m. When you are young you can do that and not even think about it.
    Then my first real swing shift job and found I worked really well that way. Could get things done in the morning and early afternoon and be to work on time. Loved it.
    Then another day job 5:30 a.m.. At last older age and retirement. Yah! I have been looking forward for this for a long time, I thought I would get up early get some gardening in and then breakfast and smile through the rest of my day. Bed early and off we go. So far I have found my natural cloak wants to get up later (7:30 – 8:00). But I do not need a nap during the day unless I am feeling ill. I feel it just breaks up the day and I look around and wonder where did the day go. Here is one who is glad to get up at any time of the day. Too all you early chicks I salute you and to you night owl’s hoot, hoot.

  6. Janet Lee Robinson says:

    Just turned 65. Always a night owl. Still happy with it. Looking at the moon is easier on the eyes than trying to stare at the sun (lol). When I retire in a few more years, I look forward to getting up around 10 or 11 a.m. and staying up until 3 a.m.

  7. Yes, just turned 69 and I am ECSTATIC that I am able to rule my own life in terms of sleep and wake times. A day when I rise early and get a lot done in the morning is more exhilarating and satisfying than one where I sleep in. But there is something to be said for sleeping in on days when the Old Body is having an issue with a “Healing Situation”. Healing is exponentially advanced when I am able to sleep in. But for productive, satisfying days, it is the Early To Bed, Early To Rise that turns out best.

  8. Most certainly an early bird. Livestock tend to do that to you 😊

    I have always found that if I am consistent about bedtimes as much
    as possible I not only rise earlier but don’t wake up during the night.

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