Can you change from a night owl to an early bird? Here's what sleep experts think

Can you change from a night owl to an early bird? Here's what sleep experts think

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Key Facts

  • “We can make you less of a night owl, but not completely, because the genetic tendency, or predisposition, is still there,” said Dr. Phyllis Zee, director of the Center for Circadian and Sleep Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Illinois.
  • Success is also dependent on how much you are willing to work to change behaviors that affect sleep, said Dr. Elizabeth Klerman, a professor of neurology in the division of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston.
  • Go dark in the evenings: The flip side of the circadian reset is to turn down the lights at a much earlier time in the evening, especially blue light from electronic devices, which “only pushes your biological clock later,” Klerman said.
  • However, if you’re a night owl, you should try to exercise in the morning or early afternoon, and avoid heavy exercise in the evening, Zee said: “Remember, everything should be in sync.”

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