Ever since I’ve changed direction with my business and have needed to salvage what I can from the content-marketing-agency wreckage, I’ve turned into a night owl. I feel so accomplished if I’m awake by 10 a.m. The stereotype is that night owls are lazy, unprofessional, undisciplined, and don’t spend much time doing anything when we are awake. In fact, there are successful night owls who just happened to be productive and accomplished when everyone else is sleeping.
My mother would probably say that when I wake up so late that “half the fricken day is gone.” Half of her day maybe gone, sure. I am sleeping when she is working hard, yes. But she’s in bed by 9 p.m. At 9 p.m., I’m ready to put in another four to five hours of work, maybe more if I get on a roll and stumble upon something big, like I did last night. Besides, night owls aren’t as bad off as some may think. New research from the University of Madrid found that night owls are better at inductive reasoning and problem solving, abilities associated with more prestigious occupations and higher incomes.
Society Isn’t Kind to Night Owls
It’s really not. Most workplaces that offer a night shift aren’t awesome jobs (you know, they’re not necessarily professional jobs that require a degree or special training). Most businesses aren’t open late at night, although that is changing somewhat (I could walk across the street to the grocery store at 11 p.m. if I wanted to. But, I live in the inner city, so I’m not going to do that). Even the “disease” associated with being a night owl, delayed sleep phase disorder, is defined as, “a circadian rhythm sleep disorder affecting the timing of sleep, peak period of alertness, the core body temperature rhythm, hormonal and other daily rhythms, compared to the general population and relative to societal requirements.” Being a night owl is a disorder because it’s different from what everyone else does and what society wants. Yay.
It doesn’t help that both of my parents are morning larks and proud of it. They’ve never been fond of the idea of staying up late and sleeping during the day. They see these activities as all those stereotypes previously mentioned. Although, I admit, there were times where my brothers and I stayed up late to go out and to play video games and such. But, alas, we were teenagers when we did all that stuff. Well, maybe the stay up late to go out kind of stuff. My brother works the night shift in Las Vegas. My parents still complain that he sleeps til noon and that the kids do too. I grant, the whole family will have some trouble when the kids start going to school. But when my brother gets home at 1 a.m. it’s not all that realistic to expect him to wake up at 6 or 8 a.m.
I Enjoy the Privacy of the Night
My fiance is in bed by nine or 10 because he starts work at 6:30 a.m. (he has less than two weeks on this job though, so this schedule is ending soon). I like that after he goes to bed, I feel like I have the apartment to myself and that my time and space is unrestrained. There are fewer distraction at this hour, and I don’t feel worn out or dragging. I feel ready to work and able to pursue new ideas and to come up with new ways to think about things. It’s a great time for creative pursuits, and in my line of work, it’s all about the creativity.
Fortunately, Lab1500 is going to have 24-hour access soon. I’m excited.