Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Night Owls of the World Unite

I stay up late even when I’ve gotta get up early. Messing around doing whatever late at night means more to me than a few extra hours of sleep. At midnight I’m usually in the middle of writing a post or catching up on Conan O’Brien’s shtick or reading a book. Anything but sleeping.

Even so, I’m sympathetic to ‘morning people’ (like my wife) who get up at 5 am even when they don’t have to. Researchers have shown that being a ‘morning person’--just like being a night owl--is determined at least in part by our genes.

So even though I’ve never understood the thrill of getting out of bed while it’s still dark outside, or the allure of eating your Wheaties silently with nothing constructive to do because the morning newspaper hasn’t even shown up yet, I have no hard feelings for morning people. I know they mostly can’t help it.

Of course, morning types are almost never as tolerant of night owls as we late night types tend to be toward the break-of-dawn brigade.

Night owls have to listen endlessly to moralistic proverbs like ‘Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

We received that gem of wisdom from Benjamin Franklin who it turns out was trapped in the closet and living a lie his whole life. I’ve read some biographies of the guy and he was much more likely to party all night and sleep till noon than he was to get up and milk the cows at 4 am. What a phony. :^)

One of my early mentors told me, ‘Nothing good happens after 11 pm.”

Nothing like an open mind, eh? I was tempted to reply that “Nothing of any kind happens before 6 am” but like most night owls I’m too generous a soul to make those kinds of self-righteous judgments.

Science—as it so often does in these kinds of situations—has ridden to the rescue. Turns out night owls are not only less judgmental, we’re also more creative.

I’m sure further research will discover that night owls are also more charming and more likely to pay their bills on time.

“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man conventional, dull, and devoid of surprise?” :^)


Blogger Samer Farhat said...

Night owl...is that just a nice way of saying "old man who wakes up every hour to pee?" I hear that happens later in life. ;)

10:56 PM  
Blogger Wordcat said...

No, I've been this way since I was a kid. But I don't fear the eventual loss of bladder control during the night. Just another reason why night owls have got it good :^)

11:41 PM  
Anonymous Eddy E said...

I think your mentor was probably referring to sexual temptations when he said, "Nothing good happens after 11pm." :) For an 18 year old, that advice is pretty right on...

2:39 PM  
Blogger Wordcat said...

Sure, that and a lot of other things that go bump in the night...

When I was doing campus work those college student hormomes were in overdrive 24-7, not just after 11 :^)

2:54 PM  

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