Tuesday, September 14, 2010

DayMan, defeater of the NightMan.

I’ve seen this topic brought up quite a few times lately and it’s made me wonder myself- are there really natural morning people and night people? Or are night people just lazy and have bad habits which lead to their schedules? I examined this issue from a few different angles:
  1. I asked my husband who says its laziness and bad habits, which I actually find rather amusing because he’s exactly the type who, when on leave, stays up until 4 or 5 am and doesn’t wake up until mid afternoon. Granted he’s playing video games usually so an argument could be made that it’s a bad habit but at the same time I’ve met plenty of people who literally could not do that. They would fall asleep on their keyboard/game controller/whatever and/or they’d wake up at 6am even if they only got an hour or two of sleep. Furthermore, he claims that my need for 8+ hours of sleep a night is not real and that I need to train myself to exist on 6 hours, because that’s all I should need.
  2. I thought back to my college years when my roommate was what I would define as a morning person and I was a night person. Granted in my later years, I was up really late because of reasons that were not school nor productive in the least bit, but freshman year before all that started, I stayed up hours and hours after she did. She scheduled her classes to start at 8am. I scheduled mine for noon. The one class I was forced to take at 8am, there was no other option, I went to in my pajamas and slept in the back row.
  3. Some people love eating breakfast, some people never eat breakfast. I’ve found that tends to correlate with if they are an early riser or not. This may be antidotal since obviously you would be hungry in the morning if you woke up at 5 or 6 and you would not if you wake up at 10 or later. If you are forcibly awoken, you would be less hungry and more cranky.
  4. When people tell stories about their children and/or when they were children it seems that children love getting up early. Their parents have many methods of making them keep to themselves until the sun comes up, including watching Saturday morning cartoons. I did not watch Saturday morning cartoons, I was asleep. I also did not wake up early on Christmas because I was asleep. My mother would have to wake me up at 10am begging me to get up so we could open presents. True story. 
    Also, as a baby, I slept through the night the first night I was home. Obviously this is not supposed to occur since babies need to eat frequently. My mom used to have to put ice cubes on my feet to wake me up to eat. I blame that for why I’m such a bear to wake up now. She also says that I would be awake and moving around in utero at night but not during the day, at one point she had to go in for her ultrasound at midnight because they were worried that I never moved during her regular appointments.
  5. If you think about history, it would make sense that some people would be predisposed to night productivity and some would be predisposed to day. When we lived in small villages, you’d need people to serve all job functions including night watchmen for safety. Someone who falls asleep at sundown (before coffee was widely available) clearly would not be fit for that job. That is, unless you like being eaten by wild beasts and your village pillaged by criminals.
  6. In the working world many people talk about waking up at 5:30am. I am not aware there is even a 5:30am, so this does not compute. I think having to wake up at 5:30am every morning would be akin to having all of my teeth pulled out one by one with pliers without Novocaine. These same people leave the building by 3 or 4 every day and they think having to work late is similar torture to what I described above.
  7.  If I were being completely honest with myself, I do not reach productive levels until noon or 1pm. Obviously, I try to force myself to work earlier and leave earlier but that’s because I’m lazy and I hate working. If I had my way I’d work from noon to 4 everyday and that’s it.
  8. There are people who get up and exercise in the morning. I prefer to exercise at 8pm. Those who exercise in the morning would find my statement crazy talk. Once again, at times I try to force myself to exercise in the morning but that’s also due to laziness and a desire to sit on the couch and watch tv all night.
  9. If left to my own devices I will never wake up earlier than 9am. If I happen to go to bed the night before at 7pm and wake up at 4am, sometimes Bill and I will get breakfast and then I’ll go back to sleep until noon. That’s the closest glimpse I will ever get to a sunrise.
    **in full disclosure, this would never normally occur.  If it does, it's wholely due to my being excited about something else like a huge blizzard bearing down on us or a hurricane hit.  See also: Kim is a weather nerd.**

My highly-scientific conclusion: I am not a morning person. I require a lot of sleep. This may mean that I am indeed lazy or it may just mean that I’m built that way. I think in order to test this properly we should force society to “opposite week” during which we all live on a schedule more conducive to night peoples’. Then when the morning people are asleep on their desks we can call them lazy.


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