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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 April 8, 2020

            Why Assuming Positive Intent Is an Amazing Productivity Driver

            Why Assuming Positive Intent Is an Amazing Productivity Driver

            Assuming positive intent is an important contributor to quality of life.

            Most people appreciate the dividends such a mindset produces in the realm of relationships. How can relationships flourish when you don’t assume intentions that may or may not be there? And how their partner can become an easier person to be around as a result of such a shift? Less appreciated in the GTD world, however, is the productivity aspect of this “assume positive intent” perspective.

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            Most of us are guilty of letting our minds get distracted, our energy sapped, or our harmony compromised by thinking about what others woulda, coulda, shoulda.  How we got wronged by someone else.  How a friend could have been more respectful.  How a family member could have been less selfish.

            However, once we evolve to understanding the folly of this mindset, we feel freer and we become more productive professionally due to the minimization of unhelpful, distracting thoughts.

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            The leap happens when we realize two things:

            1. The self serving benefit from giving others the benefit of the doubt.
            2. The logic inherent in the assumption that others either have many things going on in their lives paving the way for misunderstandings.

            Needless to say, this mindset does not mean that we ought to not confront people that are creating havoc in our world.  There are times when we need to call someone out for inflicting harm in our personal lives or the lives of others.

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            Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of Pepsi, says it best in an interview with Fortune magazine:

            My father was an absolutely wonderful human being. From ecent emailhim I learned to always assume positive intent. Whatever anybody says or does, assume positive intent. You will be amazed at how your whole approach to a person or problem becomes very different. When you assume negative intent, you’re angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed. Your emotional quotient goes up because you are no longer almost random in your response. You don’t get defensive. You don’t scream. You are trying to understand and listen because at your basic core you are saying, ‘Maybe they are saying something to me that I’m not hearing.’ So ‘assume positive intent’ has been a huge piece of advice for me.

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            In business, sometimes in the heat of the moment, people say things. You can either misconstrue what they’re saying and assume they are trying to put you down, or you can say, ‘Wait a minute. Let me really get behind what they are saying to understand whether they’re reacting because they’re hurt, upset, confused, or they don’t understand what it is I’ve asked them to do.’ If you react from a negative perspective – because you didn’t like the way they reacted – then it just becomes two negatives fighting each other. But when you assume positive intent, I think often what happens is the other person says, ‘Hey, wait a minute, maybe I’m wrong in reacting the way I do because this person is really making an effort.

            “Assume positive intent” is definitely a top quality of life’s best practice among the people I have met so far. The reasons are obvious. It will make you feel better, your relationships will thrive and it’s an approach more greatly aligned with reality.  But less understood is how such a shift in mindset brings your professional game to a different level.

            Not only does such a shift make you more likable to your colleagues, but it also unleashes your talents further through a more focused, less distracted mind.

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