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Do you need to wake up early to be successful?

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As the saying goes, “the early bird catches the worm,” but are there any advantages to being an earlier riser and will this habit get you a step closer to being as successful as Apple’s Tim Cook, who famously wakes at 3.45 every morning?

According to research published by the BBC, only about a quarter of people are naturally more inclined to wake up early and another quarter prefers to burn the midnight oil. This split in waking preferences shows a correlation between being either left or right brain centred. In other words more analytical and cooperative versus more imaginative and individualistic.

Although early risers tend to be more determined and plan for the future, studies show that nighttime people perform better when it comes to memory, are more creative and in one study showed them to be wealthier than morning people.

However, around half of people are neither early birds or night owls but rather something in between and before you decide to add more hours to your day. Changing your body’s natural patterns can be damaging to cognitive functioning and your general health.

“‘If people are left to their naturally preferred times, they feel much better. They say that they are much more productive. The mental capacity they have is much broader,’ says Oxford University biologist Katharina Wulff, who studies chronobiology and sleep speaking to the BBC. On the other hand, she says, pushing people too far out of their natural preference can be harmful.

While one might want to try and get ahead of the game by waking early just remember there are plenty of late night people who are successful too. Box CEO Aaron Levie and Buzzfeed CEO Jonah Peretti are just two examples of late risers but equally late workers.

What’s important is to follow your body’s own rhythm and make sure to get enough sleep at the right time to perform at your best.

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