Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Are Morning People Truly Better?



Night Owls Rock!
 Julie Sucha Anderson

I couldn't find an apt quote for this post so I made one up.

When I get up in the morning, it takes me a while to get going. I don't care to have a conversation with anyone. I need time to gather my brain. It took me a long time to get to sleep and, therefore, a long time to wake up.

I understand this about myself. My inner time clock works this way. No matter how I try to change it, even with 50 plus years of getting up at the crack of dawn, my sleep pattern cannot be changed. At night, I'm awake. In the morning, I struggle. 

If I have a defined place to be by a certain time, like teaching or an appointment (or for umpteen years raising babies and kids) I function fine once out of bed. I can do it. But on mornings when I can wake up at will, I tend to loll around, in bed. First I daydream with my eyes closed for a while. Then I might get a cup of coffee and grab my computer, my journal, the book I'm reading, and my phone. I retreat back to my bed where I sit upright and can see out my slider to the backyard.




I study the birds talking to each other as they flit around the trees. The squirrels chasing one another. Leaves blowing about the yard if there is a breeze. Today I can see the herbs sitting on my picnic table that need to stretch their roots in the newly tilled soil of my garden. I imagine them magically planting themselves.

I'm writing this post four hours after I awoke. I've had two cups of coffee, a breakfast of uncured Canadian bacon scrambled in two eggs with a dab of cheddar cheese. Salt and pepper. I've ordered the invitations for my youngest son's graduation, played four games of Solitaire on my phone, caught up with three of my Scrabble games, set up a time for later in the week to visit with an injured friend. Haven't touched my book and it's almost noon.

I have to say that although I have big plans for the day -- YMCA, garden center visits, planting, watching the last DVD of last season's Nurse Jackie, and probably a few other things in there -- I'm not unhappy that I'm still sitting here. In fact, I could probably last until about 3pm before finally moving my ass.

(As you can see, my last post on finding a rhythm has had no definitive effect on my day to day. I'm still doing free expression rhythming.)

I've read five or six newspapers online and a great article about the writings of my friend, Sorayya Kahn, whose new book City of Spies will be published in December.  I've also read an article in the Huffington Post by Sarah Klein that has me huffing.

As a non-early riser, the article lured me as it was entitled  "7 Things Morning People do Differently."  I hoped to be enlightened. To gather something that might give me new information in a positive forum. Alas, apparently early risers (Larks) are plain better people than the likes of me (Owls.)  And photos display Larks with sunny light surrounded with love.

I'm rather offended. Tongue in cheek.

Instead of going after the nonsense of that article, I'm going to have some fun with it. For I'm an Owl and since this attribute comes to me genetically, there is nothing I can do about it anyway. I have to continue to try to function in the perfect world of larks.

Here we go.

Does having to hit the snooze button a few times make me a not nice, unproductive person? Maybe for the first half hour of the morning, but seriously all I have to do is set my alarm to accommodate those 30 extra minutes and I get up on time. Genetically engineered misfortune overcome.

Is there a fog about me when I awake? You bet. Who wants to be clear-headed first thing in the morning anyway,  bombarded with the days events before you even have a chance to pee or brush your teeth?  The only kind of perking I want to hear in the morning is my coffee pot. Perky people scare me.

Are larks more conscientious?  Different words for conscientious: diligent, industrious, punctilious, painstaking, sedulous, assiduous, dedicated, careful, meticulous, thorough, attentive, hard-working, studious, rigorous, particular; religious, strict.

I don't even want to be some of those things - sedulous? punctilious? rigorous? strict? Sounds like the equivalent of a stick.

Larks get better grades. Okay, you got me there.

Larks are more productive. BS. Plain old BS. We just produce at a different time of the day.

Larks are less likely to be depressed. Really? All I have to do is drag my ass out of bed early and I won't ever suffer depression? Really?

I couldn't suppress my laughter (or disdain) at the last line of this article.

"In a small 2013 study, larks were less likely than night owls to possess "Dark Triad" personality characteristics like narcissism, Machiavellianism (meaning a person may be manipulative) and psychopathy, potentially because the darkness of night allows evening-type people to get away with dark deeds."

I'm thinking that was indeed a small study.

Dark deeds. Hmmmm. Sitting in my Lazy Boy at night, watching The Daily Show and The Colbert Report while knitting or reading the New Yorker or folding clothes or writing letters to friends, I'm really narcissistic, Machiavellian and psychopathic. Please don't tell my husband, the Lark, sleeping in the next room. Please?

My rant for this day ends. I'm off to do all those things I planned to do today, just getting a later start than a Lark.

I must ask you, though -- Who would you rather have fun with when your focus isn't being nice, productive, consciensious or perky? A Lark or an Owl? Who would you rather party with? A Lark who has to retire early so he can wake up with a sunny disposition? Or someone who can stay awake and contribute to the fun? Like me.






45 comments:

  1. I don't care what time of day you write - just keep writing!

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  2. Well, sure, of course ... this owl was up all night working on dark deeds under the cloak of darkness. NOT. I do resent that! That's hilarious. My greatest crime is getting up late in the morning on weekends to a larky husband who is chirping and perky and as I shuffle to the coffeepot I usually say something like, "What the f#*k are you so chipper about?" Such a sweet bride I am.

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    1. I totally get that! Such dark creatures are we.

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  3. Everyone else in the family is an owl. I quit right after dinner; don't plan anything after that magic hour because I'm fried. If I last past eight is a miracle. While everyone can talk about the jokes they heard on Saturday Night Live, I have nothing to contribute. If something didn't happen before eight p.m. no use telling me about it.

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    1. Ha! I'm thinking you offer quite a bit prior to 8pm, Rosaria. Sleep well.

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  4. Oh, geez. I kinda hate myself right now!! I'm a lark. Early to bed, early t rise. That's not a lark~~that's a chicken, isn't it?

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    1. Wow, your comment moved me to look it up. Seems the lark in literature is synonymous with daybreak. They also have a lovely song.

      So, far from a chicken.

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  5. Well, I'm better at getting up in the morning...lol...but awful at staying up late. If it's light, I'm awake and if it's dark, I'm struggling until I get to bed and sleep.

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  6. LOL indeed. You have more than a few souls depending on you before daylight.

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  7. Just wrote a post about my lazy mornings now that I am retired and don't need to be out the door at 7 a.m. I'm still a morning person as I don't get much accomplished after 4 p.m.

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    1. In all honest, on days I don't get to loll, I need a cup of tea about 4. Keeps me going until bed.

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  8. She sounds like a bird brain, but I'll go with the theme here. I've been working hard at changing my owlism to larkism, and though I'm still less flighty, I don't give a hoot. Truly, I miss howling at the moon, which is what I was all along. Less bird, more coyote. I do love the moon. So I guess I'm still a little owl after all.

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    1. "though I'm still less flighty, I don't give a hoot"

      Hahahahahahahha! And I can't imagine not howling at the moon on a full moon night. Or not witnessing a moonset.

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  9. I've been up 2 hours and still in my jammies. Some days I hop up and take off within the hour.

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    1. I appreciate the versatility. Sounds like you do, too. I'm thinking you saw the sunrise though. Not me. I imagine you click some fine photos of wildlife if you're out that early.

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  10. Hilarious.....
    Troutbirder (The Lark) :)

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    1. Hahaha! Hope you're enjoying the morning.

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  11. Yay Night Owls! You're right, we rock!

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  12. It is funny how each person is different--certainly knowing yourself makes life that much happier. The most difficult switch of routine for me was after becoming a parent, not being able to get a shower the moment I wake up in the morning. That was always how I start the day--hot water in the face. Now, I shower when it is convenient for everyone else--so I am smellier in the morning and certainly more of a grump.

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    1. I recall that transition as well. I also recall taking a shower while kids roamed the bathroom, emptying the cupboards and drawers while I sped through the shower process.

      Better smelly and grumpy than not there at all, Slamdunk.

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  13. Woman, you and I are peas in a pod! I am a lifelong night owl, going back to my toddler years when I would sit up with my mother as she got ready for work. She dealt 21 in a Reno casino on the swingshift and those contemplative dark hours imprinted on me but good. It's The Daily Show and Colbert, followed by Jimmy Fallon, and then computer/writing time before getting into bed anywhere between 2:00am (early) and 4:00am. I am, however, having difficulty living in the real world of appointments, etc., since leaving the work world. Now I have no reason at all to rise until I wake up! I am seriously considering assisting the help of a hypnotist to see if I can alter this just a bit, and be in bed by 1:00am at the latest. We'll see.
    Your essay is wonderful, both enlightening and unapologetic, with a great twist of humor.

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    1. Aw, thank you. And, yes, I can understand both fitting into the day world and then looking at the clock at night and seeing 3am. Where did the time go? I admire that you can do your writing at that time. I'm not that well trained.

      Glad to know I have a cohort out there. Night's rock.

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  14. I'm a Lark, a really, really, really, really annoying lark. The good thing is that you owls can have a little peace after 9:00 pm when I am conked out completely!

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    1. Hahaha! I get that. When that lark of mine goes to bed, it's like I have an entire new day in front of me. Well, maybe just a few hours.

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  15. You win. I'd rather spend time with you than a lark. I'm somewhere in between the two, I think. Is that possible? I am greatly bored by people who much always go to bed early. That's just no fun. On the other hand, I am exhausted by those night owls can can stay up all night. I think you are doing just fine with your productivity.

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    1. Ha! I'll take the victory. And, yes, there is a middle. I try very hard to fit into that parameter as well. Easier to make the adjustments to get the most out of life.

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  16. Hi Julie, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
    http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

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    1. On my way to visit you Chris. Thanks for coming by and staying.

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  17. I am definitely an owl. And if owls tend to be depressed, it's because the world generally attributes all the good traits to larks. What a hoot. (See what I did there?)

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    1. Hoot ! Hoot! Glad to have another one on the team.

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  18. Surely this is a site well worth seeing.

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  19. Well, I am a lark. And unfortunately so are most of the obnoxious, self-centered people I know. Incidentally, the best people I know are actually owls! So, the study clearly doesn't seem to apply for at least those that I know.

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    1. Glad to hear you like owls. There are a few larks I like, too.

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  20. Hoooo gives a hoot what the article says about us night people? ;)

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    1. Hahahahaha! You're right. Who gives a hoot?

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  21. hilarious!
    i’m an owl all the way, but i do dream of one day being more of an early morning gal.

    great post!
    hope you're having a lovely weekend~
    p.s. thanks so much for your wonderful comment on my blog:))

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    1. I always think I want to be a morning person. Might make things easier. But then again.

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  22. I'm a lark but subscribe to the old saying "Chacun a son gout" - each to his own.
    I think the best thing is to do what is most comfortable for you personally.
    Hope you are enjoying spring.

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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth. I am enjoying the Spring.

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  23. Wow I so can relate to this....OWLS far and wide UNITE....LOL. Great blog Midlife Roadtripper......cheers, Nessie

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    1. Thank you Nessie. Off to check out your site.

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  24. I think I am a mixed up person, because many a night, I am 100% owl. But I often follow that with the morning that is definitely all lark. Naturally, this results in a lack of sleep, which results in a lack of common sense, which is why I just noticed moments ago that I have my shirt on backwards. I do manage to get some writing done during these wake hours, but my pile of writing that needs strict revising is growing. :-)
    I'm enjoying your blog, and I'm glad to be your newest follower.
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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