Should parents be worried if their child is a night owl?

  • 27 February
  • School Blogger

“You aren't a morning person, are you?" he mused.
"No, I'm not. There is a reason mornin' and mournin' sound the same.”
- L.A. Casey


Early to bed and early to rise, makes a person healthy wealthy and wise. We all grew up hearing this from our parents in our native language and tone and we are repeating the same routine with our kids. Mornings are refreshing, the pure air, calm environment and chirping birds, what not is there to love about. But when it comes to productivity, not everyone is a morning person. Several studies show that not everyone can be and should not try to be a morning person. Let’s explore.


There is a two-word explanation for the time dilation in different people and it is called “circadian rhythm”. Wikipedia explains, a circadian rhythm is a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and repeats roughly every 24 hours. It can refer to any biological process that displays an endogenous, entrainable oscillation of about 24 hours. 


Are morning birds better than night owls? Not exactly. Studies show that both types of people have different brain chemistry. Morning brains have slightly more white matter. White matter is a fatty tissue in the brain that helps in communication among nerve cells. But this does not mean night owls are not productive in their own time. 


Should you force yourself or your child to be a morning person? Forcing anything will not be a good option. Changing your biological clock will require patience and discipline. Also, waking up early will not ensure that the child will become CEO without being able to sleep properly. 


According to an article published in BBC’s editorial, morning types may achieve more academically, night owls tend to perform better on measures of memory, processing speed and cognitive ability, even when they have to perform those tasks in the morning. Night-time people are also more open to new experiences. 


We understand that kids have to wake up early, to be on time at school. But if your kid is not active in the morning, do not worry. Morning birds are just “phase advanced,” meaning they feel active and energetic with the onset of the day, while night owls are “phase delayed” who starts feeling spirited as the day progresses towards its end, a pattern most common in teens and young adults.


Should parents be worried if their child is a night owl? Absolutely NO! Both types have different advantages. Researches and studies are still going on for this and saying anything conclusively will be wrong. If your child is going well at studies while studying late, there is nothing to worry about. Yes, with some efforts and practice one can change, but is only suggested when you believe that the change will accelerate the growth. Before forcing your child, talk to them. Explain to them your concerns and make it a collective effort.



School Blogger

Passionate about education and positive parenting.


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