That’s my message to you early-birds. And as far as Ben Franklin and his “Early to bed, Early to rise” crap, I’ve been there, done that and only felt very sleepy trying Ben’s recommended alarm clock…definitely NOT healthy, wealthy and wise.
I’m a different chronotype then old Ben with my own peculiar homeostatic sleep drive.
I’m glad the science of sleep studies has finally caught up with reality. Not all of us have the same regulated sleep clocks.
The circadian rhythm that controls our sleep patterns usually works with light and darkness. Aristotle stated that “Rising before daylight is…to be commended; it is a healthy habit.” This is true for a majority of people, but at least 40% of folks like being night people.
For many years, as a nightly working musician, it was normal to finish the gig around 1am, but it took another hour or so to wind down and finally go to bed. We can adjust our bodies to work all kinds of crazy shifts, but that don’t mean we like it.
Those musical nights have been over for quite some time, but I never liked adjusting back to being a “morning” person. Science is finally explaining the differences of night and day people.
The light/dark thing (circadian rhythm) varies with people and our energy levels throughout the day also change. Those differences establish our “chronotype.” (whether we’re night people, day people or, like me, somewhere in between).
Young children and old farts usually prefer mornings. Teens, young adults usually prefer evenings. It’s easy to see where you are on the chart by just going to bed when you’re tired and waking up without an alarm clock.
Science has also determined that the large majority of teens and young adults don’t produce melatonin (which brings on sleep in about an hour) until after midnight. That’s why it’s so tough to get kids to go to bed. They are not sleepy. It’s also why we shouldn’t be forcing them off to school in early morning hours when their all-important “REM-SLEEP” should be taking place. We’re not going to change our school hours ever, because it would be inconvenient for most adults, so screw the kids and their best learning times.
About that 40% of the population who are night people. It’s not easy, because the 60% are forcing their way of living upon us. We also are having an inner battle with two opposing forces. Our chronotype is the force controlled by light and dark, but another force, called our “homeostatic sleep drive” is controlled by our fatigue factor. The longer we are awake, regardless of our circadian rhythm, the more fatigue exerts pressure on us.
The morning early-birders are usually aligned and that’s a good thing. Their chronotype (established circadian rhythm) and their homeostatic sleep drive are in alignment. They are all happy, eager, smiley-faced, and ready to produce their best quality work first thing every morning.
Well, hurray for you!
The most wonderful productive things happen when the established chronotypes are matched with the correct work schedule hours.