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Did you know that genes influence every inch of ourselves, including our sleeping habits?

One of the most crucial things to do for the sake of human health is sleep. Good quality sleep affects not only our health but also our quality of life. However, not every person in this world has the same time of sleeping. Our body has its own biological clock known as a chronotype. Chronotype schedules our sleep and wake times at a particular time which also influences our circadian rhythm or sleep-wake. Related to this, some people could be either an “early bird” or a “night owl” depending on their chronotype. If a person tends to wake up early in the morning and sleep early in the evening then the person is an early bird. A night owl, on the other hand, means someone who goes to bed late at night and wakes up late in the afternoon or even in the evening. So, we can say that early birds and night owls have very distinguishable differences.

In the first place, we will talk about an early bird person. The first difference, as mentioned before, is wake and sleep time. Early birds tend to sleep and wake up earlier, which is very different from night owls that tend to sleep and wake up late (grammar, para. 3). Because early birds start the day very early in the morning, they are likely to be more active during the day and more productive as well and this is the second difference. Early birds can complete more things than night owls because early birds start a day earlier, thus they have more time to do things and finish the job. There was a proverb that was written in a book entitled A Compleat Collection of English Proverbs by John Ray released in 1670 or 1678, it said, “The early bird catcheth the worm.” (Ray, 1670 or 1678). That is why many people said that early birds are more likely to be more successful. Another difference between early birds and night owls is health issues. As early birds go to the bed and wake up earlier, they are naturally to be more mentally healthy and this is supported by the study from the Aachen University in Germany. The study concluded that early birds have more white matter in the brain than night owls, hence this makes early birds far from schizophrenia and depression (Yovita, 2019, para. 7 and 9). Research published in Nature Communications in 2019 also promotes this thought (MasterClass Staff, 2021).

The second one is a night owl. A night owl has a different bedtime from an early bird and this is the very first difference between a night owl and an early bird. Unlike early birds who like to go to the bed early, night owls prefer to go to the bed late at night and wake up later. Therefore, they are more active at night and this serves as the second difference (grammar, para. 2). The third one, People may say that ‘the early bird gets the worm’, but night owls, in fact, are smarter and more creative than early birds. This thought is supported by research done by psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa. The result showed that night owl have a higher level of intelligence than early birds (Chu, 2017, para. 3 – 5). Besides being smarter, owls are also more creative since the night makes the brain able to think more creatively idea,s and this is proven by professor Marina Giampietro, a researcher at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Miami (Chu, 2017, para. 11 and 12). Next is related to health issues. Opposite of early birds, night owls have less white matter in their bran, thus they are more prone to depression, schizophrenia, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and addictive habits. Those are the effects of social jet lag, the phenomenon when a night owl must labor against their body clock to adjust to conventional working hours (MasterClass staff, 2021).

If your family is a night owl or an early bird, then you might as well be one of them depending on what your family is.

To sum up, sleeping is very important in our life, but not everyone has the same sleeping hours. Someone’s sleeping habits depend on their chronotype and this is genetic. A person can be either an early bird or a night owl depending on the DNA that runs in the family. An early bird and a night owl person have several significant differences, such as bedtime, productivity, intelligence, creativity, and health issue. Something to remember, being an early bird does not always mean that you will be more successful than a night owl, and vice versa, being a night owl does not mean you are a failure and cannot be successful. Everyone has an equal opportunity to become a successful person regardless of whether they are early birds or night owls.

Author: Liethasia 


  1. Chu, M. (2017, May 19). Good News from Science: Night Owls are Smarter and More Creative. Retrieved from Good News From Science: Night Owls Are Smarter and More Creative (
  2. Grammarist. Night Owl or Early Bird. Retrieved from,too%20early%20at%20an%20event 
  3. Know Your Phrase. The Early Bird Gets the Worm. Retrieved from 
  4. MasterClass Staff. (2021, May 5). Night Owl vs. Early Bird: Explore the Different Chronotypes. Retrieved from 
  5. Santora, T. (2021, April 18). Can A Night Owl Turn into An Early Bird? Retrieved from Can a night owl turn into an early bird? | Live Science 
  6. Yovita, N.V. (2018, March 8). Pengaruh Gaya Hidup Early Bird dan Night Owl pada Kesehatan Mental. Retrieved from,dan%20tidur%20malam%20lebih%20awal

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