Embracing my Inner Night Owl

For years I have had trouble waking up early.

I’ve also had trouble staying asleep at night, so, while I may have gone to bed at 10, I’m exhausted when it’s time to wake up the next morning. For the past month, I’ve been attempting to wake up at 5am in order to get more things done before I leave for work but that only lead to failure after drifting back to sleep failure. I’ve read all of these articles about how great it is to be an early riser and the benefits that come along with them for inspiration. After all, the most successful people in the world wake up before everyone else, right?  I tried coming up with a better night routine (which I have yet to follow through consistently with) and being more physical during the day, but I still can’t manage to fall asleep until 11:30 or midnight. The other night, I was drawing and watching Shrek the Third when it dawned on me; maybe I shouldn’t fight what comes natural to me. I naturally fall asleep later than most and wake up around 6 in the morning. Why does that have to be a bad thing?

Yes, many believe that you need 8 hours of sleep to function well, but I’ve read that some people only need 6 hours, otherwise they wake up feeling more tired than they were when they went to sleep. We’re all different; different blood types, heights, features, etc. We all need similar things but not in the same doses. I’m no doctor, but it’s not hard to conclude that this applies to sleep as well. There are some researchers in London that agree. In fact, Researcher Satoshi Kanazawa and his colleagues found evidence that night owls are more likely to have higher IQs (for the record, I believe that anyone can be great if they work at it).

Did it ever dawn on someone to think, maybe early birds just need more sleep? My husband for example, needs at least 7 if not 8 hours of sleep. Without it, he is likely to be tired, grumpy and less focused the next day. I tend to be full of energy at night and enjoy sketching, reading or looking at photographs. If I wait until I’m sleepy to lay down, instead of a particular time of night, I seem to have more success at falling asleep. Some nights, that’s 10, others, its 1 am. Why do I have to wake up at the crack of dawn in order to be successful? President Obama, and Winston Churchill are both models for success and both are night owls. I did well in school, and am learning something new everyday at work. I have managed to keep a healthy weight and emotional status while avoiding signs of premature aging. Most people see me and think that I’m 16; that’s off by 11 years!

From now on, I’m going to embrace my nocturnal tendencies because that’s my nature. At night, there’s less noise and less social pressure. I don’t have to worry about running errands, taking phone calls or text messages. I can truly relax, pray, spend some quality time with Justice (woof) or whatever I want.

So maybe you don’t wake up as early as other people. That doesn’t make you lazy or less likely to succeed. Being awake later than others doesn’t mean you’re going to crash the next day or have bags under your eyes or that you are shaving years off of your life. You’re just wired differently and that’s ok.

Have the courage to take the first step,

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