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Night owls sleeping in on great careers?

The urge to press snooze for just a few more minutes of sleep can be strong, but experts like author Laura Vanderkam say the most successful people get a lot done while the rest of the world is still sleeping. NBC's Matt Lauer reports and speaks with Vanderkam, author of "What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast."

If you’re partying the night away and then hitting the snooze button endlessly the next day, you may be doing your career a disservice.

Many entrepreneurs and CEOs at the top of their games are morning people, and that’s one of the reasons for their success, maintained Laura Vanderkam, author of “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast.” 

“Successful people know mornings are a great time for getting things done, before other peoples’ priorities invade,” she explained. “So you can focus on important things.”

She offered a few examples of successful early risers:

  • Steve Reinemund, the former CEO of PepsiCo who's now the dean of Wake Forest University's business school, gets up around 5 a.m. to run four miles 
  • Gretchen Rubin, author of "The Happiness Project," gets up at 6 a.m. to do an hour of work before her family wakes. She plans her day, does scheduling, social media, etc. 

Indeed, being a morning person may make you happy, or at least less grumpy. According to a study released earlier this month from the University of Toronto, “early risers are happier and healthier than people who like to stay up late.” 

Unfortunately, becoming a morning person if you’re a committed night owl is easier said than done.

If you want to change your nocturnal ways, Vanderkan suggested taking it slowly.

“Go to bed 15 minutes earlier and wake up 15 minutes earlier each day, until it starts to become a habit,” she advised.