Short answer? Yes. I am one. Trust me; I know what it’s like.
A lot of people are might disagree with the above statement, and that’s fine! This post isn’t written for you. This post is for my fellow night owls, and for morning people who have night owls in their life and don’t understand what it’s like, but want to know. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, so if you disagree with me, I’m not saying you need to leave (although you can if you want!), I’m just saying that I’m not writing this to start an argument. I’m just #thinkingoutloud, and I thought it could also be helpful to some people.
Also, I want to say that since I believe there is such a thing as a night person, I also believe there are morning people. I am related to several, some of whom it’s very drastic and obvious. There’s probably also people in between! Every kind is just as valid; I’m not trying to turn morning people into night people. I know there’s a lot of articles on the internet to convince night people that they can be morning people if they try hard enough, and this is not the opposite of that. This is me telling you it’s ok if you’re a night person, and that you don’t need to change if it’s working for you, and your priorities are being met.
For the longest time, even I fell for the whole line that you are what you choose to be. And while I do believe you can make your body *adjust* to any schedule, I also believe that no matter what you do, your body is wired to operate one way or the other. (Who knows, my opinion on this could change at some point; I do my best to keep an open mind to being wrong.) I’ve always identified as a night person, but at the back of my mind, I thought I could change if I wanted to, and believe me, I tried. (More on that later.)
For the last couple years I had an average sleep schedule. I’d go to bed around 10:00 or 11:00, and every now and then I’d be up till midnight if I was up late. I’d get up around 8:00, and I was convinced my body needed at least 9-10 hours of sleep, because I couldn’t function well on any less. Even still I felt really sleepy all day long. I thought maybe it was what I was eating, but I experimented around, and nothing changed my energy levels. (I can’t drink coffee because it makes me feel light-headed, and I don’t drink any other sort of energy drinks, either, so that’s not a factor here.)
Then, more recently, probably around the new year, I started staying up much later. Basically what happened was, I made it a goal to do yoga every day, and to be more consistent with my bible reading. I love doing yoga at night, and don’t really feel like doing it during the day, so I do it before bed. (I did Yoga With Adrienne’s Yoga Revolution, which was amazing!!) But I didn’t like sacrificing my late night time hanging with my family, or doing other things, so I just tacked it onto the end of my night, causing me to stay up extra late. I started going to bed at 1:00, then 2:00, and now it’s closer to 3:00. (I really want to get it back to 2:00, though.)
It wasn’t until just a few weeks ago that everything clicked for me, and I realized how much better I felt. You know how sometimes when you get a cold, and then get better, but you’re coughing for weeks afterwards; then one day, you wake up and realize you haven’t coughed in the last couple days? That was what it was like for me. One day, I remembered how I used to feel all sleepy and draggy all day long, and now I feel so much more alert! I can’t even describe it. I ask you, who in their right mind would go back, unless you had a really good reason (work, baby, significant other, etc.). None of which I currently have, so…you better believe I’m going to live this part of my life feeling great and staying up til 2:00.
While I’m here, though, I feel like I have to address something. I didn’t intend to write a post centered around it, but it makes sense to talk about it here. I saw this in an article called 25 Best Habits to Have in Life, and it not only irritated me, it doesn’t even make logical sense.
The author doesn’t seem to know what it’s like to not be a morning person, because the instructions they give are instructions on how to wake up earlier, not on how to become a morning person. Being a morning person is being someone who functions best in the morning, and I don’t know how that is teachable. Even when I have a baby, I’ll be up early, but I don’t think I’ll be a morning person, unless, of course, my hormones change that. Being/getting up early in the morning does NOT equal being a morning person.
I used to get up at 5:15 am. It didn’t help my productivity; in fact, it hindered it. I would work out, eat breakfast, and then laze around doing a whole bunch of nothing because I was useless. No matter when I get up, my brain doesn’t work well until after 12:00 noon. So, I can either sleep during that time, or be up and waste that time trying to do things and getting nothing done well.
Remember what I said about how I do my best to keep my mind open? Well, when I get defensive, that’s my number one sign to evaluate. Maybe I’m hearing something I need to change about myself. And sometimes it is, and sometimes it’s not. When I first read this, I thought maybe this was one of those things I should change. But not anymore. Not right now, at least. I feel so much better, and I’d 20x rather feel better than look like I have my life together by sleeping “normally”.
It bothers me that our culture values being a morning person as some sort of moral accomplishment, which is just silly. It also sees it as a key to success, which I firmly disagree with. But disagreeing changes nothing, and I’m afraid that until something dramatic happens, us night owls will just have to let comments like the above roll off our back.
Also, the world is just as quiet and peaceful while everyone is sleeping at night. It works both ways. Just saying.
Are you a night or a morning person? Or someone who feels like they’re in between/neither?
How do you feel about this subject?