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Early Bird or Night Owl: Which One is Best?

Early Bird or Night Owl: Which One is Best?

There are two types of people in the world. Those who jump out of bed early, and those who come alive at night. Early birds are the former, whereas night owls are the latter.

But, have you ever wondered who is the most successful?

We’ve researched and analysed the sleeping routines of the 50 richest and most famous people in the world to reveal the answer. That's before sharing celebrities' weirdest and wackiest sleeping hacks.

Two thirds of people are night owls

Firstly, to uncover what the most common sleeping pattern is for people, we analysed nine sleep-related Reddit subthreads, boasting over 35.9 million members. We then totalled the number of comments where a person had stated that they were a ‘night owl’ or ‘early bird’.

Surprisingly, it turns out that there are more people that are ‘night owls’. They accounted for almost two-thirds (67%) of the comments analysed.

Comparatively, just 33% of people are ‘early birds.’

However, night owls only have a 1 in 6 chance of being successful

Despite ‘night owls’ being the favoured sleep routine in the Reddit analysis, our research has uncovered that more famous people tend to be ‘early birds’. This could suggest that they’re more likely to be successful. After analysing the sleep routines of 50 famous people, almost three in five (58%) of celebrities fell under the ‘early bird’ category. This includes the likes of:

  • Anna Wintour
  • Arianna Huffington
  • Jeff Bezos
  • Kim Kardashian
  • Mukesh Ambani
  • Neymar
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Richard Branson
  • Steve Jobs
  • Tiger Woods
  • Tim Cook

Comparatively, almost a sixth (18%) of the celebrities analysed were ‘night owls’. Including the likes of Barack Obama, Kanye West, Jennifer Anniston and Rihanna.

The richest celebrities are a hybrid of both routines

However, our research also revealed that almost a quarter (24%) have a hybrid sleeping pattern. Or, going to bed late and getting up early.

Elon Musk, the richest man in the world with an estimated worth of £216 billion, has a hybrid sleeping pattern. Every night, he gets around six hours of sleep and wakes up at 7am to answer critical emails. Likewise, Bill Gates follows a similar pattern, going to bed at midnight and waking up at 7am.

Bernard Arnault, the Chair and CEO of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods company, also has seven hours of sleep. He goes to bed at midnight, getting up at 7am.

Martin Seeley, the CEO at MattressNextDay said, “Whilst it’s clear that some of the most successful and richest celebrities have a hybrid sleeping pattern of going to bed late and waking up early. Most of them still manage to get the recommended seven hours of sleep each night. In fact, our research has uncovered that the average length of sleep for all 50 celebrities analysed was seven hours.”

“This further proves the clear link between high-quality sleep and success given that a
recent study by Cambridge university revealed seven hours as the perfect length of a night’s sleep. Those that regularly slept less than seven hours were linked with worse cognitive performance and mental health, including anxiety and depression.”

“If you’re unsure on whether you’re best suited to an ‘early bird’, ‘night owl’ or hybrid sleeping pattern, you should track your sleep over the space of two weeks. Each night, write down what time you went to sleep and how long you slept for the night before. Then, rate your productiveness and happiness that day as separate scales from 1-10.”

“Once this experiment ends, analyse your findings whilst thinking about any underlying health conditions that may require more sleep. Think about how much coffee you need to get through the day, and when you feel more energised in the day. If you need a lot of coffee in the morning and are most productive in the afternoon, then you’re likely to be a ‘night owl’. Whereas if you bounce out of bed and do your best work in the morning, then you’re an ‘early bird’. Once you know more about your sleeping pattern, you can utilise it to your best advantage.”

How being an ‘early bird’ or ‘night owl’ can impact your personality

Have you ever wondered whether your sleeping pattern of choice can impact your personality? Well, apparently it can…

Early birds are happier and more analytical according to experts

Tamsyn Isgrove, a Clinical Hypnotherapist, says “with regards to personality, ‘early birds’ tend to be happier, healthier, productive and a more organised routine driven kind of people.

Dr Clare Stone, a Clinical Director, also states that “morning-types are more likely to gather their knowledge from tangible and concrete sources. This means that they are more trusting towards direct experience and things they can objectively observe and are more analytical in their thinking.”

“These traits are primarily argued to be due to the early bird's circadian rhythm fitting in nicely with the typical timing demands of daily working life. To be a peak performer during the day, it helps if you strive to be organised and get things done, evaluate things objectively and have the skills to be liked and influence others to collaborate.”

But experts believe night owls are more creative and extrovert

On the subject of night owls, Tamsyn says “I believe they are more open to experiences and seem more flexible because they are not worried about going to bed at a certain time. This, I think, tends to make them more creative.”

Similarly, Dr Clare Stone also says that “evening types generally do not fit well within the societal structure of our typical working day, as their circadian rhythm does not fit within the usual 9-5 working hours. Due to their peak time in the evening, they may have more space for creative thinking and willingness to 'colour outside of the lines’.”

“Evening types are more likely to show increased levels of extraversion, meaning that they tend to be more outgoing and sociable.”

This will explain why so many creatives appeared to be ‘night owls’ in our research, including the likes of Kanye West, Jennifer Anniston, Bella Hadid and Rihanna.

The top 10 STRANGEST celebrity sleeping habits, uncovered

Regardless of whether celebrities are an ‘early bird’ or ‘night owl’. Our research has uncovered the weird and wacky ways that some of the most famous celebrities’ sleep.

Martin Seeley, the CEO at MattressNextDay has also provided his opinion on whether these are the best practices for sleep.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo takes five, 90 minute naps instead of sleeping at night and ONLY sleeps in the foetal position

You might be surprised to hear that Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t sleep throughout the entirety of the night. Instead, he takes five, 90 minute naps throughout the day, including one at 10:30pm until midnight. He then takes his next one at 3am. Ronaldo also naps on his side, opting for the foetal position.

Martin Seeley said, “sleeping on your side is great for ensuring healthy spine alignment, and is recommended for those who suffer from back pain or are very active in their day-to-day life, such as Ronaldo.”

“I would, however, not recommend copying his five naps a day. Despite us having a biphasic sleeping pattern, which means we are built for two sleeps per day, five is too many.”

2. Kris Jenner, The Rock and Tim Cook all wake up around 4am to start their day

Many celebrities, including Kris Jenner and The Rock, start their day at 4am. Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, ever so slightly edges the both of them, choosing to wake up at 3.45am. But is this wake-up time the key to success?

Martin said, “If you’ve ever read a “Day in the life” article of a top CEO, you’ll have noticed that many wake up at a ridiculously early hour, such as Tim Cook waking up at 4am. Whilst this can be great for ‘early birds’ as it means you can get a head start on your work before the rest of the world wakes up, it’s only suited to those who already wake up relatively early.”

“To achieve the eventual 4am wake up time, I’d recommend moving your alarm back 15 minutes each week until you get there. Many studies have shown that losing just 16 minutes at night can have a significant impact on your performance and productivity the next day, so it’s best to wait a whole week before changing your alarm again.”

3. Kim Kardashian spent £846,000 on beds to get a good night sleep

‘Early bird’ Kim Kardashian - along with ex Kanye West - loved the beds in the Savoy hotel so much. So, they custom ordered their own versions. These were made from a combination of cashmere, Virgin’s lamb wool and Mongolian horse. Each of the six beds took 700 hours to create and cost £141,000 each, totalling £846,000.

Martin said that “Whilst you should never skimp on your bed given that we spend a third of our lives in it, you can still get an adequate bed in a sale. It is, however, important to do your research to make sure it’s the right mattress for you based on the texture, size and more."

4. Heidi Klum and Ariana Grande both sleep naked

Heidi Klum and Ariana Grande have both stated that they sleep without clothes, which Martin recommends for multiple reasons.

Martin said, “temperature makes such a big difference in the quality of your sleep. If you start to overheat in bed, even a little bit, you’re likely to wake up and disrupt your sleeping pattern. Sleeping without clothes is the fastest and easiest way of regulating your body temperature.”

“Sleeping naked also increases your chances of deeper sleep, which is needed to stay alert the following day. So, it increases your chances of success. Sleeping like this with a partner will also increase both of your levels of oxytocin, otherwise known as the ‘love hormone’, which helps you bond.”

5. Victoria and David Beckham sleep in different beds

It’s reported that Victoria and David Beckham have ‘his’ and ‘hers’ wings in their home, letting them retreat to separate beds.

There are benefits to sleeping apart, explains Martin. “It can be the best thing if your partner snores and you need to rest and recuperate after disrupted sleep. But it’s always best to be open with your partner and share your reasons for wanting to sleep separately. This is to ensure that you are both on the same page.”

6. Mariah Carey sleeps for 15 hours, surrounded by 20 humidifiers

You might think you get enough sleep, but it likely isn’t as much as Mariah Carey. In an interview, she reported getting up to 15 hours - double the recommended amount. Not only that but she sleeps in a steam room with her bed surrounded by 20 humidifiers.

Martin said, “Whilst many people have a risk of oversleeping, otherwise known as hypersomnia, this is often due to anxiety, depression or another underlying health condition. If you find that you’re sleeping for long periods, and for more than six weeks, I’d recommend speaking to your doctor."

7. Gordon Ramsay sleeps for just three hours

Night owl, Ramsay, is said to work for 15-16 hours per day, and has previously disclosed that he goes to bed around 2am and gets back up at 5am, leaving him with just three hours to rest.

Martin strongly recommends not following this and, instead, getting a minimum of seven hours sleep each night.

8. Jennifer Lopez doesn’t go to sleep until 5am

Dedicated night owl, Jennifer Lopez, sometimes doesn’t go to sleep until 5am due to work. She says that this is a better schedule for her and aims to get six hours of sleep. Although, she would sleep for 11 hours if she could.

“People who go to bed as early as five in the morning could be suffering from delayed sleep phase syndrome. This means that your circadian rhythm, otherwise known as your internal body clock, is not working properly. If it’s impacting your life, I’d recommend speaking to your GP.”

9. Jennifer Anniston sleeps with her phone five feet away

As a self-confessed night owl who struggles with insomnia, Jennifer Anniston chooses to put her phone five feet away, turning it off an hour before bed.

Martin commented, “Going on your phone before bed, especially if you’re ‘doomscrolling’. is a big no no This is the act of reading negative news before bed. Light is the most important external factor that can impact your internal body clock (known as your circadian rhythm). When you go on your phone at night, the blue light emitted tricks your mind into thinking that it's daytime despite it being night.”

“What’s more, it doesn’t only just stimulate your brain, keeping you awake for longer. But it could even delay your deepest stage of sleep. This is known as REM sleep, which is essential to feel alert the following day. I’d suggest staying off your phone for a minimum of two hours before you plan to sleep.”

10. Lebron James sleeps for 12 hours, including his daytime naps

‘Early bird’, Lebron James, is another celebrity who recognises that they need a good amount of sleep. He gets up at 5am after sleeping around nine hours and takes naps throughout the day.

Martin said, “Whilst naps can be productive, they have to be done right. You should only sleep for between 10-20 minutes. Anything longer than 30 minutes can leave you feeling groggy as your body will have entered a deep sleep cycle.”

“Make sure to time your nap right, as well. Your alertness naturally dips in the afternoon, so you should pay attention to when you start to feel drowsy and nap straight away (if possible). Make sure this is more than eight hours before your bedtime though, as it could impact your sleep if not.”

For even more bedroom hacks, check out our tips on how to fall asleep faster. Or, it might even be time to opt for a new mattress for a better night's rest.

Author: Ryan Thaker

Ryan is a Marketing Executive, who joined MattressNextDay in October 2021. Having over 5 years marketing experience in higher education and recruitment, Ryan is looking to broaden his horizons and learn more about the mattress and online retail industries. He will be looking into the latest bedroom decor trends, sharing ways to sleep healthier and providing insights on products and the features they provide. If you have any questions for Ryan, please give him a call today!