For the past few months, something strange has occurred. I have – entirely on accident, and without any understanding as to how or why it happened – become nocturnal.
I have always been a night owl – no matter how tired I had been all day, night would hit, and I would wake right up. To this day I’m the only person I have ever heard of that wasn’t allowed to take naps as a child, my mom actually struggled to find a day care that didn’t require them. By the time I reached my school years, I had mostly learned how to succeed as a night person in a morning person’s world (meaning: I learned to function on little-to-no sleep, although as a teenager I didn’t always do it happily), at least during the summer I could sleep all day!
Yes, normally being a night person never really bothered me. In fact, there were times when I wore it as a badge of pride. Sleep over in middle school? – “I bet you I can stay up the latest!!” – etc. And really, there is something nice about being awake when everyone else is asleep. It’s so peaceful, for some reason the quiet is different than quiet during the day. It’s a thoughtful kind of quiet, the kind of quiet that lends itself to bursts of creativity, epiphanies on life and love, an understanding of things you can’t quite grasp during the hustle and bustle of the daytime hours, when everyone else’s thoughts and wants and needs jostle shoulder-to-shoulder with yours.
“I often think that the night is more alive
and more richly colored than the day.”
-Vincent van Gogh
But now that I have become full blown nocturnal, things have become more difficult. The novelty of the insomnia has worn off. These days, I don’t even start to get tired until around 5am…Let me tell you, when you don’t wake up until 2pm on a Sunday, it’s virtually impossible to get anywhere before they close.
And, although I love a clean house, running the garbage disposal and vacuuming at 3am just won’t work if I plan to live with anyone else, ever again. At least the cats don’t seem to mind.
Now I know what you’re thinking. At this point, I should just stay up all night, or wake myself up really early regardless, so the sleep deprivation will force me to conk out at a normal time. Tried it! Apparently I’ve learned to turn off my alarm clock in my sleep without waking up – and staying up all night just leads to even more exhaustion, since no matter how tired I am I wake up once night falls!
I’ve tried melatonin, over the counter sleep aids, and…well, you name it. I’ve pretty much tried it all. But the fact that I’m awake at 1am typing up and scheduling the rest of my posts for this week is a pretty good indicator that nothing has worked so far!
However, after doing some research, I’ve decided maybe being nocturnal’s not such a bad thing. I mean, I’m in good company – Jodi Ambrose is a night owl, and I’ve discovered we’re not the only ones – in fact, it seems like the majority of bloggers I follow do their writing at night. Not to toot our horns or anything, but it does seem to be pretty good evidence that us night owls tend to be more creative and more intelligent ;) Apparently, naturally nocturnal people, though more tired during the morning, are actually better at completing tasks throughout the day than morning people who need more rest.
Oh, and all of that stuff you morning folks accomplish before breakfast? Don’t worry, we finished all of that before we went to bed…the previous night!
Yes, I guess being nocturnal has its perks after all! So instead of continuing to try and fight it, I think it’s about time I started to roll with this whole night owl thing, and see where it takes me. After all, it’s morning somewhere, right??
Are you a night owl or a morning lark? How has this affected your day-to-day (or night-to-night!) life?