Thanks to Nick’s biohacking interests, I sometimes follow the Bulletproof Executive blog by the 15 year biohackers Dave Aspry. I’ve posted on a few of his articles in the past and recently I came across another interesting article on early birds and night owls. In today’s busy world, many people struggle to fit all of their tasks and activities into their lives. I often find myself wishing for more hours in the day, but since that’s not possible, we might as well learn to make the most of the hours we have.
In his article From Early Bird to Night Owl, Aspry discusses research he has found on the habits and tendencies of each type of person. Some studies showed that the type of bird you are is highly dependent on genetics, other studies show it is tied to other factors. For example, early birds have been found to be more positive, conscientious, reliable and stable, and get better grades in school. Other studies show that night owls need less sleep to feel the same level of alertness, have higher IQs and “a higher level of cognitive complexity.”
The point of his article, however, is not to pick which type of bird is better, it’s about making people aware of their tendencies so they can optimize their productivity by working hardest around the times that their brain is functioning the best. His advice,
“…choose what works best for you. Look at your family history, your work setting, your home setting, and how you feel at these times. And experiment! Hack your body so you can optimize your work at the time you want.”
He also pointed out that getting good sleep is the most important thing. Without good sleep, you won’t be functioning at your peak ability.
Personally, I think I’m a night owl. In college I finished by best reports at 3a, I find that I get more done and have better focus in the later part of the day and I love doing my workouts at the very end of the day. My parents and siblings tend to be that way too, and even my grandparents. Perhaps it’s genetic, or maybe we just share the same habits of those we grew up around.
What kind of bird are you? Do you think your schedule fits your natural productive times of the day? If not, what seems to get in the way and are there adjustments that can be made to better align your schedule? Post your thoughts to comments.