Are You An Early Riser Or A Night Owl? Neuroscientists Weighs In On Who Is Happiest

Many people say that those who get up earlier are more productive and are happier. There are also many articles claiming based on research that this is the truth. However, more researches have emerged saying that this is a biased claim and there is more to it than just the time when you wake up or work.

Accordingly, 60 percent of people are not early risers or night owls as they are an intermediate mix of two. Further, the psychology of chronotype, or the natural inclination of your body to sleep at a certain time, is not just absolutely about the time you go to bed and get up in the morning. It speaks of the optimal time you function the most.

Data suggests that women generally belong to the lark or morning chronotype group, and men belong to the owl or evening chronotype group. Aside from when you feel most productive, age also plays a factor in this. If you are an early riser in your younger years, there is a tendency that you will shift more towards the evening chronotype after adolescence.

Now for the question who is happier – early risers or night owls? A recent study from hundreds of medical students at Dokuz Eylul University in Turkey showed that there is a higher score from the questionnaire that measures happiness for the early risers. A total of 26.6 percent of the sample population, who considered themselves as night owls, scored lower on happiness than the larks. Aside from this study, there were other findings in the past where even in older people, if they woke up earlier, they felt happier.


In another study by the University of Leipzig, early risers had an emotional advantage and manifested greater satisfaction with life. They also showed reduced vulnerability to mental health problems as night owls were more likely to experience symptoms of depression, seasonal affective disorder, and substance abuse problems.

Although these studies have been published and showed such results, these are not entirely set in stone. Either you are an early riser or a night owl may still be affected by different factors like genes, environment, and routines demanded from your professional roles.