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5 Amazing Strengths Of Night Owls You Might Not Know

5 Amazing Strengths Of Night Owls You Might Not Know

I’ll be the first to admit that there are many benefits to being an “early bird.” You get to see the sun rise on some days, you get to enjoy the cool morning weather, and you’re more motivated to start your day off with some kind of exercise routine. Not to mention, you’re up before most people, meaning you get to enjoy a bit of silence in the morning before the world begins to stir.

That said, there’s got to be benefits to being a “night owl” as well, right? Indeed, there are. What was perhaps most surprising to me is that there are quite a lot of benefits.

So, what do night owls gain by staying up until one in the morning every night?

1. They might be smarter.

1nowlz

    While night owls won’t have too much of an intellectual advantage over their early bird counterparts, studies have shown that those who stay up late and sleep in on a regular basis are slightly smarter than those who are consistently up at the crack of dawn.

    The reasons for this are based on a few avant garde scientific theories related to evolution — particularly that “evolutionarily novel” tendencies such as disregarding traditional sleep cycles demonstrate advanced adaptive ability.

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    Of course, that’s not to say that night owls get all of the perks. While their behavior might be connected to higher intelligence, other studies demonstrate that being an early bird gives one a higher chance to succeed in life.

    So perhaps it’s best to be a hybrid of both birds. Maybe we can call it an “early owl”?

    2. They are more creative.

    2nowlz

      Staying up late on a consistent basis is apparently such an offbeat thing to do, that it literally changes the way your brain works. Indeed, being a night owl encourages your mind to think of solutions and ideas that are beyond the scope of traditional thinking.

      According to sleep expert Jim Horne, this means that night owls are more likely to become successful “poets, artists, and inventors,” all of which are jobs that require a lot of out-of-the-box thinking.

      As a night owl myself, I do have a bit of anecdotal evidence that backs this up. While I do try to get work done in the mornings, I often have my best ideas at night. It’s almost like staying up those extra hours unlocks a portion of my mind that I didn’t have access to earlier in the day.

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      3. They become physically stronger later in the day.

      3nowlz

        While an early bird’s strength tends to remain consistent throughout the day, a night owl’s physical ability rises as the hours go by, usually allowing them to surpass their early rising counterparts by nighttime.

        And don’t worry, the increase isn’t that drastic. It’s not like night owls are able to morph into the Hulk at night, or anything like that. It just means that their endurance and strength has more peaks and valleys than an early bird’s, which comes with both advantages and disadvantages.

        For one, it makes it harder for us to exercise in the mornings. I know that from experience. But on the flip side, I feel like I can run forever if I start my workout any time past 3 p.m.

        So if you like working out later in the day, being a night owl is pretty great. Just know that it will be relatively tough to do anything physically demanding right after waking up, which can make it hard to get your exercise in during the hot summer months.

        4. They are part of a renowned group.

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        U.S. President Barack Obama applauds as he addresses supporters during his election night victory rally in Chicago

          There are many famous people who are night owls, the most well-known today probably being President Barack Obama, who chooses to stay up reading past midnight despite working incredibly long days.

          And how about the man who kept Germany from taking England during World War II? That’s right, Winston Churchill was a night owl too.

          But if Presidents and Prime Ministers aren’t your thing, you can sleep easy knowing that Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte took cat naps during the day so that he could skip sleep entirely on some days.

          And in a recent interview, famed chef Gordon Ramsay revealed that he only sleeps for four hours a day during the week, staying up late into the night to get all of his work done (perhaps that explains his crankiness!).

          I could go on forever, as the list of renowned folks with abnormal sleep patterns is pretty enormous. I’ll end by revealing two more night owls you might be familiar with: famous (and perhaps infamous depending on your point of view) inventors Thomas Edison and Leonardo da Vinci.

          There is no doubt: if you consider yourself to be a night owl, then you are in some very good company.

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          5. They don’t need as much sleep.

          5nowlz

            If you read some of the links above discussing the sleeping habits of famous folks like Churchill and Napoleon, you’ll notice a common trend: they often skipped sleep, or replaced it entirely with naps so that they could stay up late into the night and get their work done.

            Luckily for us, there is some scientific research that might explain why that is. Apparently, early birds require more sleep than night owls, as revealed by one study where both early birds and night owls were asked to sleep seven hours a day for two days, during which their abilities would be tested.

            The results were intriguing: while the early birds were able to keep up with the night owls for the first ten hours after waking, they showed signs of tiredness and sleep deprivation beyond that point. The night owls, on the other hand, continued to perform at a high level even after they had been up for ten hours. What this means is that, on average, early birds need more sleep — more than seven hours a day — while for night owls seven hours is often more than enough.

            While there are certainly many benefits to being an early bird, being a night owl has its own advantages as well. Though we usually wake up later in the day, or require naps to function properly, we also have the ability to work at a high level even when sleeping for well-below the recommended 8 hours a day.

            If you are a night owl who has always been jealous of those who can easily pull themselves out of bed at the crack of dawn, then hopefully this article provides you with some amount of solace. Feel free to tell me any of your night owl related stories in the comments below!

            Featured photo credit: Code & Martini/Ivana Vasilj via flic.kr

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            Last Updated on September 16, 2019

            How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

            How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

            You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

            We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

            The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

            Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

            1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

            Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

            For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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            • (1) Research
            • (2) Deciding the topic
            • (3) Creating the outline
            • (4) Drafting the content
            • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
            • (6) Revision
            • (7) etc.

            Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

            2. Change Your Environment

            Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

            One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

            3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

            Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

            Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

            My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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            Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

            4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

            If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

            Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

            I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

            5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

            I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

            Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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            As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

            6. Get a Buddy

            Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

            I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

            7. Tell Others About Your Goals

            This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

            For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

            8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

            What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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            9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

            If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

            Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

            10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

            Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

            Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

            11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

            At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

            Reality check:

            I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

            More About Procrastination

            Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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