Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Tyranny Of The Morning

Chances are you already know whether you're a morning  type "Lark" or a night person - "Owl". Social scientists have coined these two types of people as Larks - people who are early to bed and awake in the morning, or Owls - the other half who are up late in the morning and more prone to be awake in the evening.

What's interesting to know is that despite the light hearted fun with names, these two sleep preferences the "lark and owl" have been researched very closely by science, proving these two types of people are real and sleep preferences are genetically determined. Scientists also know that sleep cycles exist in most living things on this planet all the way down plants, fungi, bacteria and archaea.  Located deep in the hypothalamus of our brain, this sleep cycle is also called the circadian clock, much like an unscripted code which drives everyone within a 24.2 hour wake and sleep rhythm.

But the real problem about Night Owls Vs. Larks is not so much the differences between the two types, or the science behind it, but perceptions, and what I call the "tyrants" of the morning. These Larks, these homogenous masses of  morning political parties - show little tolerance for anyone who isn't prepared for a meeting at 8 am. Not being a Lark you see is a crime in their eyes. Night owls should beware these early birds, who are also complaint conformist types with strong daytime work expectations.

Not being fully awake by 5 or 6 am, by a lark, is seen as nothing less than an outlaw, a danger, a diversity from a union. Sleep is not a bad habit in their eyes if you are showered and dressed with an hour of spinning class before you get to work.

You can easily spot these prominent personalities with caution, these show offs with ease since they often wear crisply cut dry cleaned suits and a Starbucks coffee to complete their ensemble. Larks will also proudly announce their coffee has low fat creamer. Little do they know you were up into the wee hours of the evening, with your own coffee, fully loaded with whole milk, heavy creamer and several ounces of pure finely granulated sugar so they would have their answers in the morning. Yes, the night owls come to the rescue once again, fully prepared for the very same meeting they intend to take on but don't be fooled by these Larks. Given an hour of time, research has showed that night owls will perform equally well as the Larks, and ten hours later they will outperform.

Unfair is the owls experience of the tyranny! The "social jet lag" of performing at our peak during the day gives the owls sleepless and emotional distress.  Ones unavoidable preference for morning or evening should not be considered bad or unhealthy and larks should be more accepting of an owls inherent sleep cycle.  Night owls are better off if they simply accept who they are and become more optimistic. Sleep is not unhealthy, a bad habit or condition to be treated. Be a self-identifying bird and things will go much better.