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What Is a Morning Person?

Michael Pollick
Updated May 23, 2024
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A morning person is someone who generally feels at his or her best during the hours before noon. Many morning people feel energized after a full night's sleep and can shake what few cobwebs remain by taking a bracing morning shower. They often find the early hours are also ideal for taking care of routine matters, such as email correspondence, household finances, and reading the newspaper. The opposite is a night owl, who typically feels best later in the day or during the night.

Unlike their night owl counterparts, morning people actually gain energy from the sights and sounds of a day just beginning. Waking up to the first rays of the sun or an alarm clock set in single digits is rarely a problem. Jogging or walking can seem more invigorating when performed in the crisp morning air, and many morning people enjoy the feeling of accomplishment before they start their actual workday.

There are a few drawbacks to this routine, though. Many stores and professional services are not available during the early hours, so in order to maintain a morning riser schedule, a morning people may also have to go to bed earlier in the evening than their night owl family members and friends. They rarely stay up past 9 or 10 o'clock at night, which means that they may miss out on some late night activities.

Some scientists suggest a morning person's preference for the early morning hours is partially based on genetics, particularly on a gene that affects a person's circadian rhythm and response to sunlight. This type of person has a natural sleep cycle that depends on a bright light source arriving at the proper time. If he or she does not receive this light cue during the early morning hours, he or she may feel just as groggy as a night owl forced to wake up too soon.

Conversely, a night owl can sometimes learn to become a morning person by deliberately turning on a bright light source upon waking in the morning. Moving the alarm clock away from the bed can also prevent a night owl from hitting the snooze button too often. Making the bed within minutes of waking can also discourage someone from crawling back under the covers. Many people would have considered themselves morning people at some point in their lives, but the opportunity to sleep in or a preference for late night activities have converted them to night owls.

Converting from a night owl to a morning person will not happen overnight, but sleep experts suggest that individuals go to bed no later than 10 o'clock at night, avoiding eating or watching television just before bedtime, and maintaining an early wake-up schedule every day of the week, including weekends. Eventually, the body will adapt to the change in light cues and a converted night owl should have a higher level of energy in the morning.

PublicPeople is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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Michael Pollick
By Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to PublicPeople, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range of topics. His curiosity drives him to study subjects in-depth, resulting in informative and engaging articles. Prior to becoming a professional writer, Michael honed his skills as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.
Discussion Comments
By anon994089 — On Jan 12, 2016

I understand the frustration and feel the pain, by not getting up when you should, missing out appointments not being on time to drop your kids off at school and feeling guilty for not doing so.

I started as a handyman in 2015 doing one or two small jobs per week, by the end of 2015 I was taking on bigger jobs and staying busy all week sometimes even working through the weekends

I am a very optimistic person, when it comes to doing my job, I like to do it right and I like to do it fast, because time is money

I would like to be able to just wake up in the mornings without even hesitating so I don't have to work until 10pm and get done what I was supposed to get done by 4 or 5pm

It feels like I'm at war with myself, and in the morning I always have a good excuse to go back to bed after the alarm goes off, feels like nothing is more important than sleeping it feels right and I just do it

I set 3 or 4 alarms and still sleep till 9am 10am sometimes even 11am

My goal is to get up at 6am every day.

By anon299878 — On Oct 26, 2012

I think if you are a true night owl, there is no conversion to being a morning person. I have tried everything, to no avail, to change my circadian rhythms.

Sometimes I am successful, but only temporarily, and while I am up at the more "acceptable" waking hours, my mind just isn't as quick as it is when it is 1 am. I usually end up falling asleep even though I am well rested, only to "restart" my cycle of getting up at 10 am, my natural time. Yes, I was born at night.

By anon299217 — On Oct 24, 2012

I tend to get up in the morning when it is something that I want to do. But when it comes to school I absolutely hate getting up.

By anon255257 — On Mar 16, 2012

I agree that a night owl can be a morning person. I was a night owl and I had to do a routine or schedule to change because I needed to study more. With good organization we can change, obviously only if you want to.

By anon180092 — On May 25, 2011

I really struggle with getting up in the morning. I really do prefer the night time and missing out on sunrise and sunlight don't make me feel bad, but actually is what I prefer. There is something about getting up early that makes me feel icky. It really doesn't matter if I get too much sleep, not enough sleep, etc. I have tried all combinations of sleep.

What I find is, the earlier I get up, the less I feel like myself and in turn feel depressed and anxious. I have tried focusing on the positives of getting up, but that only works while I am awake. In the morning, you really cannot reason with me. I just want to stay in bed until I feel a more appropriate hour to wake. I have tried all the tricks, having my alarm across the room, having my husband bring me coffee, opening the blinds, etc. but this inner dialogue overwhelms me that says sleeping feels good, just get five more minutes, which inevitably turns into hours. I have been known to be hours late for work., eventually leading to trouble at work, trouble getting ahead and even being fired.

No matter what the consequences of sleeping in, I am too 'addicted' to doing it. For me it's not a sleep problem. I can wake up just fine. For me it's the actual 'earliness' of it that I hate. I can get ten hours of sleep and don't want to get up, because I think it's too early. For me, anything before 9 is early, but even trying to get up at 9 on a regular basis would be a challenge. I tend to rise at noon when left to my own devices. Is anyone else out there like me? How do you hold down a job? How can I over come this irrational fear I have of mornings? I have no idea where it came from, but I can tell you, it's been this way since childhood.

By anon164920 — On Apr 03, 2011

I think I might have converted into a morning person. I used to have trouble getting out of bed when the alarm sounded at 7 a.m. But that could have been due to the fact that I had to go to school, and school's such a pain.

I, however, have started to get up at 5:30, because I heard about the right and left part of the brain working better at different times of the day, so, I wanted to see how well I could remember things in the morning, and my mind seems to prefer reading notes and studying in the morning. So now I get up early, and I now find it unbearable to stay up past 10:30 p.m.

By anon145583 — On Jan 24, 2011

I've asked over 300 people what time of the day they were born. The majority of the "morning folks" were born in the AM, and the majority of the the "night owls" were born in the PM.

My unofficial theory is that when we are born our day began, and that is when we are at our best. Make sense? I love the mornings and learned that I was born at 3:39 AM. This finding caused me to ask others when they were born.

By recapitulate — On Jan 15, 2011

I love to run in the morning, though during parts of the year when running outside in the morning is not a great idea, either because of weather or daylight hours, I become more and more of a night owl until the weather changes again. If I were to study my own circadian rhythms, I don't really think they would be very musical, to say the least.

By mitchell14 — On Jan 14, 2011

I honestly like to think I am a little bit of a morning person and a little bit of a night owl. I love getting up early, but I also love being up late. In fact, my ideal schedule would include sleeping in the middle of the afternoon, between about 1 pm and 4 pm, and then needing less sleep at night.

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to PublicPeople, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide...
Learn more
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