Night owl vs Early risers

@zandi458 (27952)
Malaysia
November 18, 2008 12:48am CST
This is a very interesting topic that corresponds to my earlier discussion which might be of help to some people who like me have reversed sleeping pattern or can't have a good night sleep. Read it you might benefit from this. Get Up by Your Own CLOCK As it turns out, our sleeping preferences weren’t just due to the fact that I responded better to the alarm. The circadian rhythm, a 24.1-hour period that dictates the sleep-wake cycle, differs among people and can influence whether we are a night owl or a morning lark. Studies have indicated that self-described morning people have shorter circadian rhythms than self-identified night owls. This means that morning people sleep through their peak hour of sleepiness, so they wake up feeling refreshed. Evening types usually wake up right around their peak hour of sleepiness, so they may have high levels of melatonin and feel groggy. No wonder it’s tough to rouse them. Hormones and body temperature also differ between the sleep groups. Early birds have higher levels of cortisol in the morning, which may give them the perky edge. Body temperature tends to be low in the morning, peaks in the late afternoon, and decreases until bedtime. Early risers have a body temperature peak around 3:30 p.m., while night owls are hottest around 8 p.m. Our sleep preferences are at least in part hereditary. Differences in the CLOCK gene (short for Circadian Locomotor Output Cycles Kaput), for instance, may contribute to differences in our favored times of activity. Sleep researchers at Stanford University found that people with one genotype had an increased preference for eveningness, while the other genotype had an increased preference for morningness. Biology and Behavior Though our sleeping and waking preferences may be partially innate, some are due to what we’re used to from childhood, the seasons, or what we’ve adapted to. This means we can—and do—change our sleeping patterns. For instance, during the summer, when daylight hours are plenty, we may stay up later but rise earlier with the sun. In the winter, darkness and cold sets in early, making our beds all that much more alluring. It’s also harder to wake early in the winter when it’s dark out. Age also alters our sleeping patterns. Different times in our lives lend themselves to different sleeping patterns. During the teens, for instance, hormones may change the sleep and wake patterns, and this is one explanation as to why so many teens tend to shift to a night owl schedule. (Socializing, studying, and busy schedules also contribute.) Alternatively, as people get older, work and familial demands tend to make people more morning focused, regardless of their preferences. Later in life, in the sixties and seventies, people tend to need less sleep altogether. In Sleep as in Life? In reality, however, few of us are true morning people who can effortlessly bound out of bed at five or six in the morning; likewise die-hard night owls are also rare. Researchers estimate that extremes comprise about 10 to 20 percent of the population, with the rest of us falling somewhere on the intermediate spectrum. And in fact, the majority of us prefer a common point in the 24-hour continuum: daytime.http://www.divinecaroline.com/article/22189/55286-truth-night-owls-morning
2 people like this
19 responses
@catdla1 (6005)
• United States
23 Nov 08
This is a terrific article. You did a lot of research & thanks for sharing. Now, I've got to figure out if I'm messed up...lol. I wake up very early (around 6 am), so that would make me a morning person. However, I'm also up really late, sometimes 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning. For whatever reason, I get my most restful sleep in the afternoon. I feel more refreshed with a 2 hour nap in the afternoon than I do with 5 or 6 hours at night. I always tell people that I have a feline nature...lol
1 person likes this
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
23 Nov 08
I have also messed up my sleeping schedule. I am very much active during the night and part of the day. But of course this can only stretch for a week and feel the effect of it the following week when I don't get enough rest. My eyes feel groggy and my mind is out of tune. I think as we age our sleeping pattern change and reduced greatly. I just don't understand why.
1 person likes this
@catdla1 (6005)
• United States
23 Nov 08
I think every one has an internal clock for sleep, and it does seem to change as we age. We can go against our internal clock, but sooner or later we have to make up for it. In my 24 hour clock, I seem to perform best with 2 shorter periods of sleep and 2 periods of wakerfulness, instead of one of each. Maybe that's part of my old age...who knows? Maybe in a past life I lived in a tropical climate where that was the norm.
1 person likes this
@bombshell (11266)
• Germany
22 Nov 08
my husband is like that.he said early birds catches worms.i am the same sometimes too.
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@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
23 Nov 08
No wonder I am always unlucky. By the time I wake up at 10am all the worms has already be taken.
@bombshell (11266)
• Germany
23 Nov 08
zandie,zandie.
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
18 Nov 08
Good post. But ya know how I sleep lol. And I get up inbetween 4 and 5 am And I might be up till 11 pm then up and down every 2 hours. From very little I always like to get up early and have the house alto myself! for just a little while it is so calm and quite sort of prepares me for when every one else gets up and then my other day starts as I say
1 person likes this
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
18 Nov 08
You are an early bird, but I can never wake up that early because I go to bed very late.
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
18 Nov 08
I kow but once in awhile I can stay up for 24 hours and them 20 hours sleep 4 still get up at 4 or 5 am
1 person likes this
@neozero (171)
• Malaysia
23 Nov 08
A really good article. I have problem sleeping before 12am. So I usually sleep around 12-2am and wake up around 7am. I know i lack one/two hours of sleep daily but then this is wat my time allows me to do
1 person likes this
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
23 Nov 08
Something good should be shared for all to read. When I sleep very late I just couldn't get up as early as you are. Maybe my body clock has been adjusted to such timing. We Malaysian are always active at night, so much thing to do and hawkers to visit at night
@quinnkl (1667)
• United States
21 Nov 08
I myself am an early riser. And I can attest to the peak at 3pm - I do NOT like afternoons. But I get a second wind and can stay up very late at night. I exist on just a few hours sleep. I am sure this will come to haunt me someday. I have read that people sleep less in their 60s and 70s, but most of the relatives I have seem to be sleeping more. Maybe because they slept less in younger years? I don't know. Very interesting. And, for the record, I am a true morning person. I wake instantly, get up instantly and am in a good mood (that my friends and colleagues detest) all day!!
1 person likes this
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
23 Nov 08
When I was younger I do sleep a lot either morning or afternoon and at that time my waking hours were short and brief that I can hardly find myself doing anything better. My family called me sleeping beauty because of my love for sleeping. One day my eldest sister commented that I should not be sleeping all the time now when I am still able to see the light and enjoy the day, once I am six feet under the ground I will be sleeping forever no matter how much I wanted to see the light I will never get up again. From then on my sleeping is greatly reduced, I find the logic there..
@subha12 (18452)
• India
19 Nov 08
I am early bird. I have seen be it winter or summer, i wake up within 5-5.30 in the morning. it is my habit from early childhood. I used to study well in early morning so this habit is there still.
1 person likes this
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
19 Nov 08
Good a habitual thing you have brought forward from childhood.
• United States
19 Nov 08
Very interesting article! I am a definite night owl, no doubt about it. I have always been that way. I work better, think better at night. Maybe it's because it's more quiet. Maybe it's because I am just made that way. The one thing I find extremely annoying is that a lot of people just don't understand that I just CAN'T go to bed early! What good is it for me to be in bed at 10pm if I am just going to toss and turn until 3-4am?? I'd rather be doing something else! I do have to admit though that it is hard for me now that I have 2 young children. I have to be up with them in the morning, sometimes on only a few hours of sleep and I honestly can't wait until nap time! LOL
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
19 Nov 08
I share with your reasons. As a night owl we don't sleep like the others and forcing us to go to sleep when sleep doesn't come only waste our time tossing from side to side in bed. Might as well do something beneficial like coming to mylot.
@katrhina23 (1282)
• United States
19 Nov 08
Nice post ! very informative !
1 person likes this
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
19 Nov 08
@katkat (2379)
• Philippines
19 Nov 08
Very informative post you have there. I think we all have different sleep patterns as we grew older. Sometimes work and other activities also could be the reason that we have different sleep pattern.
1 person likes this
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
19 Nov 08
I realize that too when we get older our sleeping pattern changes. We don't normally need more sleep compared to younger people.
@hiddenwing (3721)
• China
18 Nov 08
I always keep early hours! My habit is very regular! Thus, I would say that your discussion is a great news for me! Have a great day!
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
19 Nov 08
great you have a normal sleep. Sometimes I wish I can be as normal as other people.
@Opal26 (17690)
• United States
18 Nov 08
Hi zandi! Well there's no doubt about it in my mind! I am definitely a night owl and always have been! I was able to wake up before the alarm, but not because I was all peppy and ready to jump out of bed and take on the world! No way! I would feel miserable, groggy and nowhere near ready to really get out of bed! I have never been able to fall asleep and stay asleep. But, I am a different story altogether because I have chronic insomnia, which is a different story! But, it must be in the gene pool because my mother is a night owl and always was and still is! She never could get up early because she went to be at 2-3am and still does at 78 years old! So it is no wonder that I always had trouble going to bed early and getting up early. But, because I had no choice to get up to go to work I had to do it and so did my mom. I don't know how either of us ever did it and still went to sleep really late. I have gotten worse now since I'm disabled and now working. I now stay up sometimes all night. So my body clock is totally screwed up. But, again that is for a different discussion!
1 person likes this
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
19 Nov 08
You sounded be fine being a night owl and I believe it runs in the family like me. Most of my siblings doesn't even go to sleep before 1 a.m. and the funny thing is everyone is still flat in bed by 10 a.m. in the morning. Luckily most of them are running the family business and does not have problem with punch card.
@Annmac (949)
18 Nov 08
It's a fascinating subject isn't it! As I said in my last response I sleep a good 7 hours but what I didn't say was that those hours are usually 1-2am till 8-9am. Luckily I don't start work now till 10! I used to find it difficult getting enough sleep when living to a school or work schedule that meant being up earlier! As you said modern life dictates when we sleep and it doesn't take natural cycles like the seasons into consideration. I've always, if allowed to be, been a night owl even as a child. My brother is the same and so is my son, whereas my husband and daughter are definately larks. I've often wondered what it would be like if we didn't have to 'live by the clock'. If we could follow the natural rythmns of our bodies perhaps there would be less stress and illness at least for the 10-20% who don't fit the 'average'. Do the majority really prefer a common point or is it society that forces us to accept it as 'the norm'?
1 person likes this
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
19 Nov 08
I love it if the day and night is treated equally where activities in the day is the same at night where you still can see busy people doing the normal things as what they normally do during the day. The night are reserved for the night owls and the day for the early risers or day people. But if human materialize such concept of making day and night equal I think we would all end up like zombies. So we should accept what God has planned.
• United States
18 Nov 08
This article is very interesting. I have been having a lot of issues with my sleeping habbits lately. As hard as I try I can not fall asleep at night. I will lay in bed till about 8 in the morning...and then I am supposed to leave my apartment to go to class at 9:15. Needless to say I have ended up skipping a lot of my morning classes in an effort to get some sleep but then I wake up only a few hours later and once again can't get back to sleep. Its incrediably frustrating. I'm only 20 years old so my parents still pay for my medical insurance and they are very against me getting sleeping pills to fix to the problem because they are known to be so addicting. That makes since, but this has gone on since March. Its getting to the point where its so hard to function because I'm so tired all the time. Once every week or so I end up having a day where I sleep all day and that kinda keeps me going but I need to figure out something else to help the situation.
1 person likes this
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
19 Nov 08
Many people are suffering from this kind of problem, unable to sleep at night. After having so many sleepless nights we feel so restless during the day and can't do much work. Our eyes are groggy, our mind seems to be blur and can't think of anything useful to do.
@kellys3ps (3726)
• United States
18 Nov 08
Interesting article. I go back and forth between being a night owl and an early riser.
1 person likes this
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
19 Nov 08
Good your time can be flexible and still be able to rise early. I can't wake up early and I often wake to a brunch meal.
@TessWhite (3147)
• United States
18 Nov 08
For many years I worked jobs that required me to be at my desk by 6 or 7 am. This meant I had to get up at 5am to be there on time. And it was just about impossible for me. I am just NOT a morning person. I'm a night owl and come by it naturally. My grandmothers and mom were the same way. The only benefit to me now being disabled is I no longer have to fit anyone else's schedule. I stay up late and get up when I feel like it - and its wonderful. I also often take an afternoon nap as well. I do find in winter time its harder though because since I get up so late and it gets dark so early in the day it feels like I've missed most of the day. But in summer time it works great.
1 person likes this
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
18 Nov 08
It is difficult to wake up early in the morning if you are a night person like me. I tend to oversleep as my sleeping time is quite late. I seldom take my afternoon nap as I have many things to do during the day.
• India
18 Nov 08
i get up at 6 O clock nd go for runnin for an hour
1 person likes this
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
18 Nov 08
I can never wake up that early
• United States
18 Nov 08
ive recently become a night owl, i like better to rise ealry but i dont have to work early anymore, so its changed.
1 person likes this
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
18 Nov 08
Oh yes, we are the same. I am always a night owl but never a early riser
@savypat (20245)
• United States
18 Nov 08
I do know you can change your sleep habits, my husband was put on different shifts every 3 mos when he was working, it took about two weeks for him to get use to the new timing. We did bock out all light when he had to sleep during the day.
1 person likes this
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
18 Nov 08
My sleeping pattern is also not regular because of my job
@salonga (27858)
• Philippines
18 Nov 08
Oh this topic could be very, very interesting to my son who is finding it so hard to sleep early and therefore it is also hard for him to wake up early. I'm happy I am a true morning person eversince. IAs I've rpeviously said, I have no problem with sleeping so I got no problems with waking up early either. It has become very habitual to me to effortlessly wake up at 5 or six. I could feel that the Lord is really waking me up so I could start my early morning prayers and quiet time with him.
1 person likes this
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
18 Nov 08
It seems that you have a good sleeping schedule and your timing is good.