Since I can remember, I’ve always had trouble sleeping at night. Even now I can only sleep when there’s light outside, usually anywhere between 4am and 7am depending on the time of year. This is a bit excessive to just be labelled as just being a night owl, I have a sleeping problem but I guess I’m just I’m an overachiever in this regard.
From extensive reading on the subject, it seems not to be all doom and gloom, though I didn’t always see it as a completely bad thing anyhow. Nighttime is my element, I get a burst of energy from 8-9pm onwards, the creative juices begin to flow, I think more clearly, fewer distractions, work is completed fast and effectively and I generally feel on top of the world. Compare this to me in the morning (If I’m even up in the morning).
During the morning I’m completely demotivated, I don’t want or feel like doing anything, it takes me hours to reach a decent state of wakefulness. I don’t want to eat, move, speak, write or see anyone, just lie there until I feel it’s getting closer to a time of wakefulness and productivity. On the other side are morning larks who invert this completely, going to bed by 10-11pm, getting up at 6-7am with a spring in their step and all the energy they need to tackle anything they need to. These people are aliens to me and should be swiftly put to death… I kid but come on, I envy them, or do I?
Why It Ain’t So Bad
As I mentioned above, it isn’t all terrible for us nocturnal human beings, there’s blessings we get that some morning fellows would envy. We get the quiet of the nighttime, no phone calls, no one barging into your room, rarely any work related email, we’re left to our own devices. Whereas the morning chums get to enjoy the hustle and bustle of business hours, people knocking, calling. sending, shouting, posting and other forms of potentially irritating interaction, damn you people and your social needs!
We enjoy the wonders of the sky, astronomers and stargazers alike can only safely and accurately observe our vast universe when the sun is absent from our skies. The larks skip all this for a boring eight hours in their sleeping apparatus, I think most if us would pass, at this time of night anyhow, sleep through the mornings instead, they usually aren’t interesting anyway.
When we browse our forums and other discussion based online sites, we can speak with the other side of the planet! For us in the UK, we can engage in polite and constructive conversation with our cousins across the pond in the USA and other places, politeness and constructiveness not guaranteed… All of this happens while you others are being lazy and snoring, pfft.
Last but not least, studies seem to have suggested that night owls could generally have IQ’s higher than our lark counterparts. Some would argue that humans have evolved to the point of not needing to stick to a rigid circadian rhythm and that this correlates with intelligence. As much as I would love to believe this, I’m a little skeptical, especially because IQ is a controversial measurement of people. I’ve linked the article explaining it in layman’s terms and the actual study for those interested below:
- Article: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/201005/why-night-owls-are-more-intelligent-morning-larks
- Study: http://personal.lse.ac.uk/kanazawa/pdfs/paid2009.pdf
Why It Is So Bad
We know our downfalls probably more than our benefits when it comes to our circadian rhythms. Too many times have we been molded to our beds when required to vacate said zone and eventually escaped it’s clutches with a bad attitude and sore eyes.
Those damn larks can get up earlier with no problem, and what’s worse is that they feel great afterwards! We see you guys as superhuman in the morning and when you walk into work/class with a smile on our face while we’ve planted our heads on the desk to pretend it isn’t morning. We envy this the most.
Going on from this, you probably perform a little better in these settings that require early starts regularly. A morning lecture will enter your minds much more easily than us sleep deprived zombies, leading to us having to make up for it by studying at night, something most would rather not do. Plus exams and tests are often in mornings meaning you’re that much more in the zone for these sort of things and tend to perform better when the same dedication has been made to study the topic at hand.
I think a lot of morning larks -not all- are more disciplined that most night owls. You know when you’re going to get out of bed, you know when you’re gonna go shopping, go to the gym, when you will study, when you’ll go to bed, the list goes on. A lot of your counterparts, and yours truly, have a mental list of things we need to do everyday and just try to get all the things done during the day that we cannot do at night, usually without any specific times. We, or at least I, struggle with organisation in this way.
Lastly, apparently studies suggest that morning people are generally more happy people, who’d have though eh? You get the things you want done and when you want done, you have no problem with the social norm of 9-5 jobs and such meaning life seems to be made for you. I found an article which explains this and talks about the findings of some of these studies, however unfortunately I could not find a journal report to accompany it, or maybe I’m just biased for my nocturnal buddies…
It Is What It Is
Whichever you are, or even if you don’t subscribe to either lifestyle, you have your benefits and problems with your schedule. Whether it be a lark struggling to stay awake on nights out, or night owls missing morning classes, we both can’t always manage everything we’d want to.
Neither of these are blessings or curses, they are just part of who you are and can help as well as hinder your throughout life. The important question is though, can you keep it under control? This writer definitely cannot.
Featured Image: ©Jennicatpink