Ben Franklin, that jack-of-all-Founding Fathers, once advocated for a lark lifestyle in a famous saying: "early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." But a pair of epidemiologists at Southampton University in England—perhaps still bitter over that whole Revolution thing—directly challenged Franklin's tyranny of the morning people in a 1998 paper for BMJ.
The researchers analyzed a national sample of men and women who'd been surveyed years earlier on sleep patterns as well as measures related to, well, health, wealth, and wisdom. There were 356 larks in the group (in bed before 11 p.m., up before 8 a.m.) and 318 owls (in bed after 11, up after 8). Contrary to Franklin's decree, night owls had larger incomes and more access to cars than did morning larks; the two chronotypes also scored roughly the same on a cognitive test and showed no self- or doctor-reported health differences.