You’ve heard it all your life – getting up early is the optimum behavior, while sleeping late every day is for rock stars and slackers. The earlier you get up, the more productive you are. But what if you are more of a night owl than an early bird? What if your peak mental hours are in the evening, not the morning? How will that affect your work life?

There are many people who are built that way – they are folks who get the most done in the p.m. hours. In fact, they may make up as much as 25 percent of the population. Their circadian rhythms operate differently. Unfortunately, those night owls are working in what has been an early bird world. And that has meant negative repercussions.

Night owls can suffer issues due to their time clock

It has been the case that if night owls worked in an office, or any other sort of a day job, they had problems due to not being at their peak during a typical 9-to-5 schedule. Not to mention the disdain they would be held in from supervisors and even fellow employees for either not making it to work early. This, even though they frequently stay late and may work much longer than those who show up early.

If you have to work an early bird day, there are ways that you can try to set your body clock to a different time. Some life coach experts say that you can also use light therapy and melatonin to adjust your hours (talk to your doctor first, though). You can also try to go to be a few minutes earlier each evening to get used to getting up earlier. However, some night owls are unsuccessful at doing so.

If you aren’t really meant for a 9-to-5 schedule, things are starting to change, with the increase of flextime and telecommuting.  If you either got your company to do this, or you were to switch to a job with this situation, you would have much more flexibility with your hours. This means that in many cases, you don’t have to stick to as strict daytime schedule, and can choose one that is more in tune with your body’s natural rhythms.

Night owls can be just as productive as early risers

Here’s the thing that some people are standing to realize – that night owls can get just as much done as early risers. It’s all a matter of taking advantage of your own natural energy levels, as well as working during a time in which there are no distractions. You know how people get up early to get a jump on the day, and get things done in their work life or personal life when everybody else around them is asleep. Well, you can do the very same thing to finish up – or even start – your day late at night, when things are quiet.

There is also this saying to keep in mind. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!