Home > sleep deprivation > From a morning person to a night owl — suck it

From a morning person to a night owl — suck it

There’s an article in Slate this week about a woman — clearly a twentysomething — trying to become a morning person. She says she wants to do it for a variety of reasons but hits hard on the alleged “smugness” of morning people.

She talks about how hard it is to miss out on all the cool social things that happen until 1 a.m. and how she feel “geriatric” going to bed at 10 p.m.

As someone who did a little happy dance this morning because I stayed in bed until 6:20 a.m., I say unto her, “Suck it.”

Now, here’s the thing. I’ve always been a morning person. If you tucked me into a house by myself in the middle of no where and gave me no schedule, I’d gravitate towards a sunrise wake up within a week. Hell, before I met The Husband, I never bothered to set my alarm clock because I was up naturally at 7 a.m. The Husband isn’t a morning person, so my schedule’s been thrown a little awry, but even so, before baby, we could be counted upon to be awake by 9 on weekends at the latest.

Believe it or not, this is not something I’m smug about. It’s gotten me tons of shit for most of my life.

Most of the social stuff in the world does happen after 10 p.m. and I’m always a pumpkin by then. (College was the exception — I usually stayed up until midnight and woke at 8 a.m., but that was college.) I miss out on all the parties and stuff because I’m nodding off in the corner or heading back to my apartment just as things warm up.

Also, when I was a cubicle slave, I got into work at 8 a.m. And left at 5 p.m. And because I worked surrounded by a bunch of twentysomethings who rolled in at 10:30 and left at 6:30, I got flack for “leaving early,” never mind that I worked an entire hour longer than they did. Office “parties” — you know, the non-optional types — would start at 7 o’clock… no problem for the late shift, but ridiculously late for me.

Now, I’ll admit, as a mom, I get tired tired tired of my own 9:30 bedtime. I get tired of being a slave to my child’s insanely rigid internal clock. Everything is so scheduled in our family that it’s actually a really big deal if The Husband misses his train home. I’d like a little flexibility. I’d like to have lunch with a friend at noon instead of at 11 a.m. I’d like to be able to go to dinner and then a movie instead of a matinée and then an early dinner. I’d like to be able to stay up late reading a mystery and not spend two weeks paying dearly for the pleasure of finding out whodunnit.

And that look on my face when you say that you can’t get up until 9:30, oh, woe is you? It’s not smugness. It’s a sleep-deprived desire to smack you across your face.

Categories: sleep deprivation
  1. Dave
    February 17, 2009 at 3:35 am

    I am TOTALLY sympathetic. Although I am a never married male. I was ALWAYS a morning guy. Great for wage slave work, but now I am retired and would like to stay up late. I play guitar in a couple bands as my retirement hobby, but burn out by 10pm. Nobody wants to listen to a band at 8am 🙂 Got to find a way to shift my biological clock. Any ideas? Plenty of stuff on how to turn a night owl into a day person, but nothing on the reverse.

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