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Study: Morning People Are Happier & Healthier Than Night Owls

A recent American Psychological Association study finds that you might want to start waking up earlier.

Are you a night owl? If so, you're probably less happy and less productive than morning people.

In a recent study published in the American Psychological Association journal Emotion finds that "larks"--people who wake up early--have a more positive affect than "owls"--those who prefer staying up late at night.

Additionally, the study revealed that morning people reported feeling healthier than night owls.

The study, conducted by University of Toronto researchers Renee Biss and Lynn Hasher, was based upon survey results from more than 700 adults of various ages and sleep patterns. Study participants reported their mood at various times throughout the day, and also judged their overall health.

So what exactly can you learn from morning people?  

“Some people like to do the to-do schedule in the morning, but then they might have already lost office time writing it out," Andrew Jensen, a business efficiency consultant, recently told the U.S. News and World Report.

Morning people think ahead: "It helps to do that to-do schedule the night before. It also will help you sleep better," he added.

He also pointed out that morning people start with the hardest projects first thing, when most—morning people or not—are at their peak efficiency.
According to Jensen, morning people also tend to have a ritual for the early hours, when they can spend quiet time reading, surfing the Web, or checking email.

Perhaps the hardest morning person habit for a night owl to adopt is avoiding the snooze button.

"It may be a pain at first, but eventually you'll get to the point where you're getting your seven to eight hours of sleep at night, you're waking up with all your energy, and accomplishing the things around the house you need to before going to the office," Jensen said.

Last updated: Aug 21, 2012


John McDermott is a business and culture reporter whose work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune and Playboy and on He recently moved from Chicago to Brooklyn, New York, to work for

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