Despite the fact that I am a card-carrying night owl who routinely gets a lot of work done between 2:00 and 5:00 AM, I do understand that some people are biologically wired to be most effective early in the morning. At about the same time I'm headed to bed for a few hours of sleep, the early birds are getting up--and getting a lot done.

As it turns out, there is plenty of science to support the fact that being an early bird can bring you all sorts of success--in business and in life. With that in mind, here are 11 scientifically proven reasons why early birds really do get more done than those people who would rather hit the snooze button and sleep in for a few more hours.

1. You may be a natural born early bird

According to researchers, about 10 percent of us are born early birds. If that's the case for you, then going along with your natural biological wiring will make you more effective--and more successful.

2. You're in good company

Many of today's most successful businesspeople are early birds, including PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi (4:00 AM), Apple CEO Tim Cook (4:30 AM), Richard Branson (5:45 AM), and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz (4:30 AM).

3. There's a better chance you'll eat a good breakfast

According to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, people who don't eat breakfast have an increased risk of heart disease. If you're an early bird, you have more time in the morning to eat a good breakfast before you head off to work.

4. You're healthier

An article in a publication of the American Psychological Association revealed that early bird sleep patterns lead to better health outcomes.

5. Your mornings are extremely productive

Although they tend to burn out by the afternoon, the mornings of early birds are usually very productive.

6. You just might be more proactive

According to research conducted at Harvard University, early birds are more proactive--and therefore more productive and more successful.

7. You tend not to be overweight

Researchers at Drexel University found that early birds have a lower body mass index (BMI) than night owls.

8. You squeeze more time out of each day

If you wake up just one hour earlier each day, that amounts to 15 extra days of time each year--that's extra time to exercise, meditate, eat breakfast, catch up on the news, or to do whatever you like.

9. There are fewer distractions in the very early morning

Just as night owls find that there are fewer phone calls, texts, email messages, and people to distract them in the middle of the night, the same is true during the very early morning. Early birds have that time all to themselves.

10. You're aligned with the natural rhythm of the earth

Most animals (including humans) have aligned their biological processes with the rising and setting of the sun. Early birds are in sync with this natural rhythm (and healthier and more productive for it).

11. Early birds are happier

According to researchers at the University of Toronto, early birds are happier than the rest of us. And who doesn't want to be happier?