Early Riser Vs. Night Owl—What Sleeping Routines Say About Someone’s Personality

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At the end of every day, we all get to crawl into our beds, rest our weary heads upon our pillows, and drift off to sleep for the next couple of hours before awaking to face another day. To sleep is one of the most natural human experiences we have, and also one of the most healing, so we ought to treat it with great importance.

Because it’s something experienced by everyone, and every single person is unique in their own way, we all go about getting our daily sleep differently. The habits surrounding your sleep can even say a lot about you.

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Unparalleled Importance

Sleep is paramount when it comes to maintaining one’s health. It’s where our body rests and our imaginations run wild, unbridled by waking worries or obligations that keep it occupied otherwise. Ironically enough, we’re at our most free when we sleep.

A man asleep in bed, his arm under the blankets reaching for his glasses which are on the bed.
Unsplash / Matheus Vinicius
Unsplash / Matheus Vinicius

Sleep isn’t the same for everyone, though. We all get a different quality of sleep, have different sleeping preferences, and go about getting to sleep differently. Your sleeping routine can have major effects on your personality and how you go about your life, as the sleep you get ripples ever outward.

Early Morning Lovers

First are those who happily wake up at dawn, but they’re a rare breed. It takes a lot of discipline and is usually born out of a desire to get more done, but those who commit to it often come to enjoy it. They love to rise with the sun, eat a simple yet healthy breakfast, and either get some cleaning or exercise in before they even start thinking about work.

A woman waking up in bed, stretching her arms upwards.
Unsplash / Bruce Mars
Unsplash / Bruce Mars

It might come as no surprise that these folks are hard workers. They love to be organized, productive, and are highly motivated. Their drive to keep their life in order is both impressive and admirable.

On Their High Horse

On the flip side, early risers are a little judgmental sometimes. They hold themselves to very high standards, which can lead to stress, then see others who appear not to work as hard as them keeping everything together and think less of them for it. It’s a defense mechanism more than anything else, as they need to justify every one of their choices. They also feel the pressure to perform a perfect life even when no one’s watching, which doesn’t help those stress levels.

An alarm clock on a blanket, someone reaching out to grab it.
Pexels / Acharaporn Kamornboonyarush
Pexels / Acharaporn Kamornboonyarush

To the early risers starting to feel the pressure, know that your life is your own. You don’t need to prove yourself to anybody. No one is above or below you regarding how they run their life. Loosening the restrictions you place on yourself might help you regain some perspective. Try sleeping in for once!

Night Owls

On the opposite end of the spectrum are the night owls of the world. These folk stay up late, but don’t always sleep in late, often still making themselves get up for whatever obligation they have to meet, be that work or school or other.

A man sitting on a bed, looking at his clock that reads 4:40 AM.
Pexels / cottonbro studios
Pexels / cottonbro studios

Night owls are a varied bunch. Not all of them choose to stay up late because that’s what feels natural to them. In fact, it’s more common for them to simply not be interested in sleeping, or to hold anxieties about coming days that they never feel like they’re prepared enough to face.

Reaching A Breaking Point

With that said, night owls tend to have a great sense of self. They know what they enjoy, how they best enjoy those things, and does so in a way that showcases the depths of their passion. They’re often creatives, they enjoy making things and bringing their ideas to life through whatever artistic medium they’ve chosen.

A man sitting at his laptop at a desk in the middle of the night.
Pexels / cottonbro studios
Pexels / cottonbro studios

They also tend to undersell themselves. That mixed with the adverse health effects of getting less sleep can really mess with their heads sometimes, so if you see a night owl who’s frazzled, try to convince them to take a nap or get some rest otherwise. To all those who stay up late, it might feel like what’s best in the moment, but you know in your heart that it’s not in your best interest. Remind yourself that you’re worth taking care of.

Natural Risers

Those who wake up naturally at the time they wish to without an alarm, as mentioned back with the early-morning folk, are truly blessed. Having an internal clock that keeps time as it should and responds to your body’s natural cues is an incredible gift for which you should remind yourself to be thankful.

The sun rising over a forest.
Pexels / Pixabay
Pexels / Pixabay

Natural wakers are similar to early risers, so much so that the two often go hand in hand. This means they also share a number of similar qualities.

Shutting Out

Those who arise from sleep with no alarm in sight are usually perfectionists. They love routine and generally dislike change, avoiding it where possible. This can lead to them becoming a bit reclusive as avoiding change can sometimes lead to them canceling plans or dismissing opportunities due to fear.

A woman asleep in bed, her hands covering her mouth.
Pexels / Andrea Piacquadio
Pexels / Andrea Piacquadio

You can’t live your whole life shying away from every major change that comes your way. Spontaneity is an important component of being alive! It invites fun into your life, allowing you to make lasting memories with your loved ones. Don’t be afraid to try something a little different!

Alarm Central

Lastly, there are those who need alarms. Desperately. For one morning they likely have at least four alarms to ensure they’re up on time. They’ll jolt awake at the first one, then continue hitting snooze until their body has decided its had enough and forces them out of bed.

An alarm clock on a desk.
Unsplash / Chad George
Unsplash / Chad George

This method of waking is highly chaotic, and like it frequently ends in races against time, rushing to get ready for wherever it is they have to go. There’s nothing calm, soothing, or restful about the way these types of sleepers start their days.

Keeping It Together

Despite that, they’re often highly intelligent. After all, a disorganized way of living does not equate to one’s brilliance in other areas. They may appear a little scattered to the outside looker, but people who rely heavily on alarms often have one or two specialized areas in which they’re utter geniuses.

A woman who's fallen asleep at her desk.
Pexels / Marcus Aurelius
Pexels / Marcus Aurelius

They also display impeccable problem-solving skills, meaning their friends often turn to them for their input. If you need a running number of alarms to start your day, you may feel like you’re constantly playing catch up with the rest of the world, but don’t worry; you’re far from alone. You’re doing fine already, so you don’t need to keep doubting yourself!

A Good Night’s Rest

The way someone engages with sleep is very personal. Sleep is such a major player when it comes to physical and mental health, and the way you approach it and return from it can impact every other area of your life as a result.

A woman sleeping in bed
Unsplash / Gregory Pappas
Unsplash / Gregory Pappas

There’s no wrong way to go about sleeping so long as you’re getting enough, and one method of waking isn’t better or worse than another. Sleep should feel natural and restful, and you’re allowed to do whatever it takes to get you to that state.

If you feel your health slipping in any respect, try looking to any recent changes in your sleep patterns first. You might find that the root of your problems lies outside of your waking hours.

Daniel Mitchell-Benoit

Dan is a content writer with three years of experience under their belt, having mostly covered viral media but now shifting toward spirituality and astrology. He’s a strong believer in using one’s beliefs as a means of self-improvement and being in touch with whatever messages the universe has to offer.

He can’t wait to share his insights with a[…]