I'm a night owl, and I couldn't tell you how many times I was told that I could be much more productive if only I switched my sleeping pattern to match that of early risers (I tried, by the way, and all I got was being tired all day long).
Thanks to science, night owls now have the perfect retort to the productivity myth: it turns out that they can actually work longer and focus more than early birds!
The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging to monitor the brain activity of early birds and night owls who spent two consecutive nights in a sleep laboratory and periodically performed a task that required sustained attention.
The results, reported in the journal Science, suggest that night owls generally outlast early birds in the length of time they can be awake before becoming mentally fatigued.
After 10 hours of being awake, the early birds showed reduced activity in brain areas linked to attention, compared to the night owls. They also felt sleepier and tended to perform more slowly on the task.
On a related note, I'm curious:[poll=11]