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Home Is being an early-bird better than being a night-owl? What does research say about the benefits of an early morning routine?

Is being an early-bird better than being a night-owl? What does research say about the benefits of an early morning routine?


Do you go to bed early and wake up early with a spring in your step? Or are you more of a night person who likes staying up late and feels your best late in the day? 

Do you have lots of energy in the morning, but have a hard time staying up late? Or do you have to drag your feet if you need to wake up early? 

They give us an idea whether we are a morning lark or a night owl. 

In most cases, society holds being a morning lark in high regard, since most activities revolve around a daytime schedule. Most jobs are from 9 to 5, and classes too. Let us consider the positive emotions and benefits that morning larks enjoy!

A look at night owls’ habits

  1. Being active at night puts us at more risk for losing sleep or low quality sleep. It also encourages the habit of consuming more sugary and fatty food and drinks, and less of fruits and vegetables. Research has shown that night owls are more prone to developing health conditions such as weight gain leading to unhealthy weight, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
  2. Research has also found that night owls have a tendency to avoid tasks and delay them to a later time. This creates issues both in their personal responsibilities and at work.
  3. There is more social and mental incentive to engage in novelty seeking behaviors. Because night owls tend to experience stress and anxiety, they are more prone to smoke, drink or engage in substance abuse. They are also less likely to give up these habits. They find it hard to say no to behaviors that can lead to addiction. 

Benefits of being a morning lark or an early riser

1. Better mental health and wellbeing.
Studies have shown that morning larks have greater life satisfaction and enjoy better mental wellbeing. They are less prone to experiencing symptoms of depression, mood disorders influenced by weather or climate, and problems with substance abuse.

1. Better physical health.
Waking up early allows morning larks to prepare and have breakfast, which is often considered the most essential meal of the day. It breaks the body’s fast from glucose and provides it with nourishment. 

More time in the morning also means time for exercise. Compared to night owls who have a hard time squeezing in exercises at night, early risers enjoy an elevated mood and better metabolism. In addition, the lifting effect of sunshine adds to the benefits. 

3. Stronger relationships with loved ones. Having a daytime schedule aligns with most people’s free time. It gives you more time to spend with family and friends, fostering better interactions. 

4. More time for personality development. Surveys show that people who do reading, journaling, self-study and goal setting usually do these personality development activities earlier in the day. 

Practical tips to start your morning lark journey

According to surveys, we shift from being morning larks and night owls across our lives, and our current life circumstances influence our habits. 

But if the benefits encourage you to try out a daytime routine, easing into it gradually leads to more success. 

1. Recognize your sleep patterns. Without the aid of alarms to remind you, what time does your body naturally feel tired and sleepy and what time do you naturally wake up? Knowing these things points to your current sleep-wake patterns. Make the necessary adjustment. 

2. Adjust your sleeping time gradually and closer and closer to your desired sleeping time.

3. Ask your healthcare professional about adding a melatonin supplement to your bedtime routine. 

4. Wind down by putting away your gadgets.

5. Ask support from a housemate to make you accountable to your sleep schedule. 

It is natural for our sleep patterns and preferences to change as we age. Most people notice that they have become more of early risers as they got older. As you incorporate the habits of morning larks into your routine, you also grow in your physical and mental wellbeing. 

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Is being an early-bird better than being a night-owl? What does research say about the benefits of an early morning routine?
Brandon Resasco