Are You an Early Bird or a Night Owl?

Are You an Early Bird or a Night Owl?

When I was in college, I’d regularly complain about 8:00 am classes.

“It’s so early!” I’d whine while trudging through the snow across the quad. Thank goodness for cinnamon hot chocolate to get my butt out of bed or else I’m sure I would have failed all my classes…or at least the ones during the winter term.

As a perky 19-year-old college girl, I used to party late into the night at the local clubs (while rockin’ my skank-tastic wardrobe, I might add).

I was a total night owl, and I loved it.

On a side note, Chris and I first hooked up at a club during junior year, but I like to keep things strictly PG here on the blog, so we’ll just leave it at that (wink wink).

Now that I’m an old lady, I don’t have the energy to stay up until the wee hours of the night. These days, I’m in bed by 10:00 pm and up by 6:00 am. “Sleeping in” on the weekends means 8:00 am, tops.

I get so much done in the morning now. Who’d have thought the wild college girl would grow up to be an early bird?

I find it fascinating that my nature has changed as I got older. And I don’t think being an early bird is reserved for mature adults. I know plenty of adult night owls.

It all depends on your lifestyle and when your body and mind are most alert. My mental acuity is sharpest before lunch time, so I give myself an advantage and wake up early.

Some people don’t reach their peak clarity until sometime in the evening. For them, their best work is done while other people (including spouses, kids, and pets) are fast asleep.

One way isn’t necessarily better than the other. Whatever floats your boat.

My only concern is the amount of sleep you’re getting.

For my clients, if they’re not getting 8 hours of shut-eye per night (and the vast majority are not), I help them gradually increase their sleep time, usually in 15-minute increments.

Come to think of it, only 1 of my clients actually gets enough sleep every night.

PSA TIME! Lack of sleep and the effects it has on our health is something we all need to be aware of, yo!

As you’ve probably guessed, some people will find that their preferred lifestyles don’t mesh well with their circumstances. A night owl who has to be at work at 7:00 am is going to need to find a way to cope (without bludgeoning their chipper early bird coworkers with a stapler).

Thankfully, you can make small changes to fit your early bird or night owl tendencies into the real world. As I mentioned, adjusting your sleep schedule gradually will help you night owls who need to get up earlier. It will take time, but your body will get used to it.

If you’re an early bird in a house of night owls, make your bedroom a sacred place so you can get the highest quality sleep even if there are other people still awake in the house. Also, use your morning hours for your self-care and personal pursuits.

Are you an early bird or a night owl?

Has your preference ever changed?

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  1. Cara on March 19, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    I’m not quite at 8, but 7.5 is pretty good, especially since my attempts to go to bed early (say 15) usually involve me waking up that same number of minutes BEFORE my alarm. I don’t find I have better mental acuity in the morning. I’m more wistful and contemplative. Weekend mornings are generally for writing blog posts, and browsing pinterest. I’m best around 9:30 (oy, did I just consider the time BEFORE that morning??), hit my stride at 10, and am ready for the slow slog through tough tasks around 2.

    • Sage Grayson on March 19, 2013 at 6:32 pm

      I write on the weekends too. I don’t feel that pressure to create content then, so I can be more genuine. My energy takes a nosedive around 2:00-3:00.

  2. Sarah @ This Is What I Eat on March 19, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    I am definitely an early bird! I used to sleep in a teensy bit when I was younger but no later than 8:30 which is pretty early for a kid. I wake up every day between 6:30 and 7 with no alarm. I’ve always had trouble sleeping and sometimes I am up late because I just can’t fall asleep, but I am always way more productive in the morning. I love it on the weekends when everyone is asleep and I’m getting my grocery shopping done or a quiet drive to the farmer’s market 🙂 It’s my favorite time of the week!

    • Sage Grayson on March 19, 2013 at 6:29 pm

      Yes! Saturday mornings are the best when no one else is on the roads or at the grocery store.

  3. Molly on March 19, 2013 at 9:55 am

    I’m a night owl, but I have to get up at 5:00 (I start at 6:00 am), so I don’t exactly get to nurture the night owl in me. I always make sure to be in bed (and usually asleep) by 9:00 because like you said, sleep is so important! I get through my days much better when I get at least 7 hours of sleep.

    If we ever do make the big move, I’d like to look for a night time job again. I miss it!

    • Sage Grayson on March 19, 2013 at 6:33 pm

      That stinks that you can’t enjoy being a night owl right now, but at least you adjusted. What job did you have before when you worked nights?

  4. H&K Style Journey on March 19, 2013 at 4:47 am

    Oh I am definitely an early bird. Staying up past 11:00 is late for me anymore, ha ha! Getting up early on the weekend definitely makes a difference. Heather

    • Sage Grayson on March 19, 2013 at 6:09 am

      My college self would be embarrassed by how early I go to bed nowadays. Waking up early on the weekends feels good to me too because I get to do more of the fun things I enjoy.