Early Birds or Night Owls: Who Wins the Entrepreneur Race?

We discuss the advantages of being a late sleeper and an early riser for business

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By Rustam Singh


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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We all know the drill – the debate between those that say the early birds get the worms, and those that stay up late into wee hours of the morning working in the blissful silence and distraction free lifestyle it offers. Scientifically speaking, each side has its own pros and cons, and there might even be a major genetic reason behind the fact that you fit into either category. However, while getting sufficient amounts of sleep (which again, is a very subjective term for each individual) is crucially important, does one category have demonstrated and proven benefit over the other when it comes to being Entrepreneurs? Do successful entrepreneurs' follow a certain category, or is it varying per individual?

Let's take a rational approach to each category and see their advantages and disadvantages:

Early birds

While extremely unpopular at parties and socialite events and the vent of a majority of jealously and hatred through college years, early birds claim that waking up fresh, sufficiently rested and watching the sun rise gives them a positive outlook at life. They are able to work more swiftly, think more rationally, and even find the time to devote themselves for leisure after work hours since they would get free earlier than regular folks.


  • More prone to rational decision making. Sufficient rest enables individuals to think straight, and logically, rather than driven by impulse or creative venting
  • Time to smell the roses and calm yourself
  • The added time for to attend meditative practices or even eat a healthy breakfast contributes towards a more relaxed perspective at life
  • Drastically healthier life as you have a sort of immunity towards a lot of stressful situations since you already calmed your nerves in the morning
  • Some people claim the morning hour fresh after rest is the most creative for learning and memory retentive tasks
  • You can gain an advantage over others because you're already up working, or planning hours before others are even up
  • The fact that you'll wake up earlier means you'd have to sleep early too – so naturally you're avoiding a majority of unproductive social activities that may be detrimental to your health or social skills.


  • You miss out a lot of social activities that primarily occur late evenings
  • Most informal networking can occur in a casual setting, such as a coffee meet or over a beer or two – and these won't be happening anytime early during the day
  • You're also skipping through time zones – matching clocks and Skype meetings with foreign clients are just excessively delayed if you're sleeping early.

Night owls

Defined as those that simply refuse to sleep before all the crickets in the neighborhood stop creaking, night owls would have a primary working hour start off post sunset. Once the world starts to sleep, they are up and running, understanding that most forms of communications & work can be assigned digitally that hardly needs any time restrictions.


  • The night offers impeccable silence. The silence is most cherished in a world full of sound pollution everywhere, and can drastically change the way you perceive a problem
  • Creative processes are enhanced magnificently. The brain releases extra hormones and juices to tweak to be put on high alert as an evolutionary defensive strategy, which some folks use to come up with much more creative ideas than before
  • You'll still get an advantage than peers to wake up the next day, even though terribly late as compared to others, but with a list of work already done
  • If you're genetically inclined to stay up anyway, instead of wasting that time doing nothingness, working gives you an added advantage to exceed your peers
  • There's great scope for global communications as time zones would match more easily
  • You're available to more social and networking opportunities because informal entrepreneurs discuss things outside official channels usually only post work hours


  • There is an undeniable impact on your general health, as well as possibly long term health
  • A sense of alertness is dimmed and so are your reflexes, unless you're a lucky exception
  • If your work profile requires more technical skills rather than creative skills, you'll be at a bad side to be a night owl
  • It's difficult to sync with the rest of world since a vast majority of main stream professionals follow a regular work schedule waking-working cycle

What side are you on – do you like to get up early and find dawn more productive or do you like to zone out and work till dawn? Let us know in the comments on our official Facebook page Entrepreneur India

Rustam Singh

Sub-Editor- Entrepreneur.com

Tech reporter.

Contact me if you have a truly unique technology related startup looking for a review and coverage, especially a crowd-funded project looking to launch and coverage.

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