Are You a Night Owl or an Early Bird

Early Bird Traits

  • Wakes up before the alarm goes off
  • More energetic and productive during the morning
  • Often up before daylight working on projects
  • Energetic and alert during evening hours
  • Typical bedtime around would be 9:00 to 10:00 p.m.

Night Owl Traits

  • Only wakes up in the morning if the alarm is going off
  • Ideal workday would begin at noon
  • It takes several cups of coffee to function in the morning
  • Most productive and alert in the afternoon and evening
  • Typical bedtime would be after the late night news

Morning people need their protein-rich foods during the afternoon and evening, particularly if they need to be focused later in the day for a meeting or some other work requiring attention to detail. Instead of a lunch of pasta with marinara sauce, for example, morning people would be more alert in the afternoon if they added some grilled chicken, seafood, or other protein source to their pasta dish, thus increasing their levels of dopamine and norepinephrine.

Many people who are "evening persons," or "night owls," must nevertheless be at work at 9 a.m. For these people it is important not only to have breakfast, but to make sure that protein-rich food is part of the breakfast. Protein provides the brain with tyrosine, an amino acid that is a precursor of the chemicals that promote alertness. A mid-morning snack is another good time to include a protein-rich food, such as cheese or yogurt.

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