*beep* *beep* , *ding * *ding *, the blaring sound of the alarm terrifies you to death and you look at the clock with those tired, puffed eyes doing the vertical split stretch, stuck at 6 and yet you somehow manage to fall back asleep in the morning brain-fog , being totally ignorant to the next moment of morning madness and desperate rushing. Struggling to prise your head from that soft, cozy pillow, battling to escape the warm duvet, you continue to press that snooze button, yearning for five extra drowsy minutes. At last, after much deliberation, you finally convince yourself to jolt out of bed at the last possible moment, splash cold water from the faucet, dress hurriedly to make it to the lecture on time.
Sitting on the last bench with a churning stomach, trying to keep your head upright, you’re commanding your brain to stay awake, yet your eyelids feel heavy as lead and they just keep falling shut involuntarily. you regret your decision of burning the midnight oil the previous night or keep hitting “next” on Netflix until you had experienced that horrible moment when you actually heard the birds chirping outside and sunbeams transgressing through the latticed window.
Introspecting at your chronotype, you start googling the assuring life hacks to be a morning person. You read through the articles extolling the benefits of waking up early backed by books like 7 habits of a successful person. But alas! Tired of trying all sorts of tricks like adjusting the clock ahead of time, putting the alarm clock across the room (so you have to get up to turn it off), using a different kind of blaring noise, doing affirmations before going to sleep. When all of the tactics devised to trick your brain to wake up early fails, you feel the need to dig deeper into the issue. The question of why on earth would you conform to the 9-to-5 mentality of waking up early? Well the answer might be in your nursery rhyme “early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” This is evidence of the fact that waking up late still has social stigma attached to it. We tend to look down on those who stay up and is biased towards early risers.
Since our childhood how many times we have been scolded by our parents for staying up late? You’re thought of as more productive, efficient if you get up early and go to bed at a “reasonable” time. We have been conformed to this ideology because our ancestors used to sleep in their caves just after dawn maybe because there wasn’t much to do at night anyway with no artificial light . We , being the cradle of blind notions in this new trendy world of early riser, where everything is scheduled for morning larks from most decent educational opportunities in school/college to best paid 9 to 5 jobs and also the terminology which is biased in attributing qualities through adage like “the early bird catches the worm” but on the contrary nobody really thinks that even owls catch the rodents and insects with their amazing sensory capabilities without sunlight.
We are in sort of now obsessed with the idea of getting up before the sunrise, to exercise , plan your day, eat breakfast and considering so-called morning people on a higher pedestal, but if you listen to science there’s nothing wrong with being a night owl, we all have internal circadian rhythms that scientists tell us we can only do so little about. Research widely agrees that people have different circadian rhythms that influence sleep-wake cycles and that these rhythms can be affected by genetics.
The point of consideration here is that instead of arguing which chronotype is better, have a consistent bedtime and waking time. Time of day doesn’t matter as much as a routine. It is important to ask at how you’re spending your time instead of when you are spending it. So whether you’re getting out of bed at the crack of dawn or sleeping till noon, make sure to create a routine you can count on each day.
So the next time when you roll over the bed and hit snooze, don’t let the thought of dooming your life to a less successful one bothers you because life is too short to get up to the same, incessant beeps of your alarm every morning but rather prepare yourself to harness your late-night tendencies to create your best work. You should not try to fundamentally change yourself rather to be even more of who you are, and love yourself with all your so-called “flaws” even if one of being is considered as being a night owl.
Now it’s time we put this debate to rest and should rather learn to embrace who we actually are not who we think we should be.
Seize the night! Harness the Wee Hours of the Night, my friend!
“Listen to the night as the night knows your truths, your stories, your aches, your dreams, your cravings, your forgotten memories, not so forgotten.”