Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you consider yourself a morning or a night person?

Have you ever stopped to think about when you are the most productive in a day?

Have you noticed that talking about sleep or sleep patterns comes up often in conversation in English?

We’re going to look at why this is such an important topic, and also how to talk about it naturally in your conversations.

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There’s a question from one of our followers that may be something you’ve had in mind.

Remember that Instagram is a great place for you to ask questions by the way–here’s the question.

 Good afternoon ladies,

A question that I have in my mind is about your caption. Is there any special phrasal verb or any idioms for those that wake up early in the morning?

I know that there has to be something that you call somebody who ets up early, but I’m not sure of what it is. Can you help me with this?

Thank you very much!

Looking At Common References

If you think about it, we talk about sleep and sleep patterns quite often.

This may be something that you recognize in conversation, because there are a lot of instances where it may come up.

We did an episode about sleep recently where we spoke about a couple of terms, which work here and we’ll look at again now.

That was Episode 1221: Work Hard, Play Hard, Sleep Hard

This is a great episode for you to listen to because it talks about sleep patterns and how that plays out as personality types and traits.

You can say that you are a day or morning person, and you can also say that you are a night person if you are just the opposite.

There are also some other related terms that have come up, and these may help you in conversation as well.

  • Early Bird: This says that you get up early in the morning. You may be on a schedule for this or may be more productive at that time of day. You prefer getting up early and getting things done, sometimes before the sun even comes up. You might say “I’m an early bird. I get up at 7am!”
  • Night Owl: This is the exact opposite where you are the type of person who is productive at night. You may stay up late to get things done. You are able to stay up late and prefer it. You might be up later than anyone else, but you operate best in this way. You might say “I only go to sleep after midnight because I’m a night owl.”

These terms are used often in conversation, and they can be fun to practice with.

Other Terms To Use

You see by now that terms related to sleep or sleep patterns come up quite a bit in conversation.

What else can you use in conversation?

There are some other phrases that fit into this category, and you might enjoy using them.

  • Early Riser: This is another way of saying that you like to get up early and get things done. You might go to bed early so that you can be up before the sun. You may be somebody who is the most productive when everything is quiet first thing in the morning. You might say “I don’t like to go on vacation with her because she is an early riser and makes me start the day at 6am”
  • I wake up at the crack of dawn: This gives you a certain visual when you say it. This is to say that you are up before the sun comes up or around that time. If you get up early then this is generally part of your routine. You might say “Don’t worry. I can make the 7am train. I wake up at the crack of dawn every day!”
  • I’m up with the sun! This gives you another visual when you hear it. To some of us, being up when the sun is rising is a very positive thing. You may enjoy getting things done before anybody else is up. You might say “Oh I like to exercise first thing–I’m up with the sun after all!”
  • I like to get up early: This is straight and to the point, and it tells the story. This is a preference for some, or it may even be a necessity for you. You might say something like “I like to get up early. It’s good to get my day started before everyone else wakes up.”
  • I like to stay up late: Again this is straight and to the point, which can be good in conversation. If you are the type of person who likes to work or get things done late into the night, then you understand this firsthand. You might say “I like to stay up late and watch movies before bed.”

These phrases all work quite well and are related in certain ways.

Try using them in your conversations, and see how many people relate to them.

You tend to be one or the other, and so it can be fun for you to talk about in your conversations.

Is One Better Than Another?

So as you start to look at being a night person or a morning person, it may make you wonder if one is better than the other.

Ben Franklin said “Early to bed, and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

You can even throw a quote like this into your own conversations for a fun twisth.

You could even say something like “you know what they say..early to bed, early to rise…”

So is one better than other?

It’s actually a personal preference, and one that you should decide for yourself.

You might be more productive at night than during the day, but have a friend who is just the opposite.

The important thing is to get enough sleep, and that can be the tricky part.

In today’s society, people generally wake up early for work.

If you are a night owl, you might run the risk of being overtired if you’re staying up super late and then getting up early.

Think of what works best for you and then schedule your day and activities around that.

It’s all about productivity, but also being sure that you get enough sleep to fuel that productivity.


There are lots of ways to express sleep habits. This topic could even come up on the IELTS Speaking test so you’ll need natural idioms for that.

There are even more ways to talk about the day and night, as well as your personal habits.

You have a few fundamental ones that you can start to use in conversation.

People like to talk about this, so it’s a good way to connect.

It comes up even in small talk, so think about your habits so that you can use them in your conversations.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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