You have heard this mantra many times from your parents, loved ones or teachers, “The early bird gets the worm.” In school, my guidance counselors always stressed the importance of being on time and my mother just plain old told me to go to bed so I can be timely the next morning. Though most people are encouraged to get a full eight hours of sleep and to turn in early to rise early, studies suggests that those who are late risers are actually smarter, thus leading them to workplace success.

According to, studies suggests that early risers have only time for mediocrity while late risers surpass others with “qualities linked to general intelligence, such as inductive reasoning, conceptual and analytical thinking.”

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Though early risers tend to outshine their counterparts in school, it is suggested that late risers surpass their counterparts later in the workforce. Early risers are linked to careers such as civil servants and accountants, whereas late risers “tend to be the more extrovert creative types, the poets, artists and inventors” and “tend to demonstrate traits linked to greater occupational success and higher incomes.”

Making an assessment of my friends, many of them successful in their own right, I think the previously described findings are only halfway true. Though there may be differences in personality and approach, success has to be subjectively assigned by each individual. What is success to me as an early riser may not be what you as a late riser defines as success.

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I have a friend who is a VP of her company and a part-time student. She goes to bed early and wakes up early–like 4:30 am early. She has worked her way up the ranks in her industry and continues to shine! I also have another friend who is an attorney. She stays up well past midnight and is her office at 10:30 am, a full three hours after my VP friend shows up to work.

Are either of them less or more successful because of how they choose to rest? I do not believe so, however, I can say that I notice a difference of personality, style and approach to not only life, but also to work/life issues that correlate with the findings.

Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates (  She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.

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