You know, I never understood how some of my friends were able to fall asleep at 9 or 10 p.m. I’m still watching my prime time shows and apparently they’re already in bed passed out? Who the heck gets tired at 9 p.m.?

According to sleep specialist Michael Breus, the time we wake up and go to sleep actually depends on our genes. He categorizes people into four different chronotype groups: lions (early birds), bears, wolves (night owls), and dolphins.

He even made a short quiz for people to test to see which of the four chronotypes they would fit with most. I happen to be a wolf, but no surprise there.

I, myself, can say that I am an avid night owl. I sleep late and wake late, when given the chance. Unfortunately for me, this world is full of early birds, and work or school supports that lifestyle.

Every morning I dread having to go somewhere with a tired mood and a mind that hasn’t even woken up yet. Here we go again, right?

But hey! We night owls have to get through this morning-filled life somehow, so here are some tips to thrive in a nine-to-five work environment:

  • Change your working hours, not your sleeping hours.

What time do you get up to get ready for work and how many hours of sleep do you need? Ask your boss about switching your hours if you need to. Your boss wants you at your best, so chances are, he or she will say yes. But don’t get too greedy. Keep your core working hours the same, and simply adjust your starting and ending times so you’re able to produce better work.

  • Have creative “off-hours” and put yourself on autopilot.

A study done by Mareike Wieth and Rose Zacks showed that taking a break from solving a difficult problem can allow your mind to be more open to new ideas. This is referred to as the incubation theory of creativity. But you can also work on repetitive tasks that don’t require much thinking. So if you’re feeling groggy in the morning, file papers, reply to emails, or answer missed calls.

  • Prepare the night before.

If you work best at night, then there’s nothing wrong with a little head start. Since you’ll be more out-of-it in the morning, take some time the night before and do what you can so you’re able to sleep in a bit longer. Maybe have your clothes ready to use right away, or prepare breakfast and lunch. Get some more sleep-in time.



Hudepohl, D. (2016, July 11).  Not an early bird? How night owls can crush it at work. LearnVest. Retrieved from