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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.

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    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.

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      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.

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        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.

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            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 May 22, 2019

            10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

            10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

            There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

            One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

            In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

            Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

            1. Cat Camel Stretch

            Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

            Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

            Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

            Here’s a video to guide you through:

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            2. Go for a Walk or a Run

            This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

            Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

            The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

            Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

            Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

            3. Jumping Jacks

            Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

            Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

            4. Abductor Side Lifts

            Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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            Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

            5. Balancing Table Pose

            This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

            Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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              6. Leg Squats

              Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

              Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

              The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

              7. Push Ups

              You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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              An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

              Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

              This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

              8. Bicycle Crunches

              There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

              Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

              9. Lunges

              Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

              Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

              This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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              10. Bicep Curls

              You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

              Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

              Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

              Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

              Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

              These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

              You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

              Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

              More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

              Reference

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