Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash
In a nine-to-five world, most struggle to realize the advantages of being a night owl—especially those who are not night owls, or who are required to adopt a night owl schedule.
But if you are a true genetic night owl (or nightlifer as I like to call myself), then you have most likely embraced the following advantages of being awake when most people are sleeping.
Night Owls’ Adaptability Make Them More Productive
According to writer Peter Economy, many of these advantages make night owls more productive than their daylifer counterparts. Night owls enjoy the solitude, serenity, freedom and peace that the night brings. Therefore, night owls often possess a calmer demeanor and more easily adapt to situations that don’t address their circadian rhythm – like a nine-to-five schedule. In turn, night owls are capable of being productive during the day as well as night. This adaptability also makes night owls more alert for longer periods of time.
Night Owls are Typically More Creative
The tranquil and uninterrupted time of night is an optimum environment for creativity to thrive. According to Professor Marina Giampietro at Catholic University of the Sacred Heart states, “Being in a situation which diverges from conventional habit, nocturnal types often experience this situation, may encourage the development of a non-conventional spirit and of the ability to find alternative and original solutions.”
Night Owls Tend to be Smarter
Psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa studied over 20,000 adolescents to determine how sleep habits affect intelligence. His study found that night owls tend to be more intelligent across all races, demographics and ethnicities. His reasoning for this discovery stemmed from the fact that our ancestors did not have artificial light, which meant staying up during the darkness was an “evolutionary novel,” thus making night owls more adaptable. And humans that more easily adapt tend to be more intelligent.
Night Owls May Be More Entrepreneurial
Since night owls tend to be more intelligent and creative, it is not surprising that they are also typically more entrepreneurial. According to the University of Chicago night owls are more likely to take risks, and their boldness often results in new and unconstrained ideas. Also, an uninterrupted work environment, free from calls and meetings, leaves one’s mind to flow freely. Jonah Peretti, Aaron Levie, Alexis Ohanian, Tom Lehman, and Mark Zuckerberg are founders of some of the most successful online companies today. And they are all night owls.