Not that this piece of advice doesn't have some sort of merit--Christoph Randler, a biology professor at Heidelberg, Germany's University of Education, found in his research that those who start their days earlier were more goal-oriented and active than those of us who begin our mornings with multiple hits to the snooze button.
Even further, many business titans of industry all seem to share this early bird trait. Vogue Editor-in-Chief, Anna Wintour, wakes up at 5:45 am to play tennis, Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz gets up at 4:30 am--to make coffee, no doubt--and, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, even sets his alarm for 3:45 am. It sure does feel like rising early is the key to success.
Despite these findings, the night owl is not doomed to failure. In fact, being a night person may be used to your utmost benefit, especially when it comes to business.
Research published by the Department of Psychology at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan states that nocturnal types often experience, "being in a situation which diverges from conversional habit," which, "may encourage the development of a non-conventional spirit and of the ability to find alternative and original solutions." Find yourself doing your best work at night? You may also have the ability to shine when it comes to creativity and problem-solving. If there's a crisis at work, call in the night owls for help!
In addition, the amount of time that a night owl remains mentally alert is much longer than that of the early bird. Participants in a 2009 study by the University of Liege in Belgium found that early birds had, "lower activity in brain regions linked to attention and the circadian master clock," compared to night owls. Morning people may rise earlier, but night owls are more likely to stay mentally sharp for a longer amount of time after first waking up, which leads to increased productivity and efficiency.
If you feel bad about finding it difficult to wake up early, don't be ashamed! Flaunt your late-night productivity skills, but be sure to stay humble--research by the London School of Economics and Political Science even suggests that those with higher IQ's are more likely to stay up late.