Night Owl and Early Bird : Sleeping Rhythm Extremes

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” – Ben Franklin

In my life, I’ve been constantly switching the rhythms of my life especially my sleeping routine. I used to be a morning person while living in my high school’s dormitory. We have to sleep early and wake up early in the morning. Even the school starts at 5.45 a.m. But as I moved forward into college life, being a morning person is just an ephemeral dream. As there are no obligation to follow a specific daily schedule.

There are some articles stating the benefit of waking up early. I realized the good parts of early rising and doing activities early in the morning from one of Leo Babauta’s post, taken from his popular Zen Habits blog.

Waking up early in the morning is great, while the necessity of it is still debatable. One has his own sleep rhythm, and one needs to apply what works best for him. For a person who has experienced various sleep rhythms like me, switching from a night owl mode into an early riser bird is a tough thing to do.

Aside from individual’s pure intention, our sleep mechanism is really simple. Each 24 hours, we need enough sleep to cool down and rest our mind and body. Here enough sleep means six to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. Sleep early, and it will be easier for you to wake up earlier. Sleep late and your body will surely trembles when you force yourself to wake up early, since the required amount of rest was not satisfied.

There are some subtle benefits from waking up early. The most obvious one is you’ve got more time to prepare for your daily activity. When you wake up at 5 a.m., you’ll have 3 more hours to enjoy contrary to waking up at 8 a.m. The nuance is also quieter and more relaxed, unlike the rush situation when you wake up late. And most of all, you can enjoy sunrise, if there are any in your town.

There are some Utopian activities you can do early in the morning. You can go jogging. You can go to a green park to enjoy some rare unpolluted air. You can read a book. Even you can cook a meal yourself, if you have the chances.

I know all that early rising stuffs well, but the problem is not that I don’t want to rise early. The problem lies in the tendencies to delay my sleep. I am a learn-a-holic person, and I can’t shut down my laptop when there’s still something wonderful to do. Like reading an article, watching videos, or just mere surfing the web. While my time is limited, the resources didn’t vanish. There’s always more article to read, more videos to watch, and more hyperlinks to click. And I can’t keep track of time when doing so. Often I saw the clock at 9 p.m, and after I did some stuff, I’m shocked to find the clock pointing at Even the day had changed.

When I’m invested in doing something deep at night. The thought of rising early doesn’t compensate. And I kinda feel that sleep is wasting my time, which is an absolutely wrong opinion. But if we were able to live normally without sleeping at all, I would gladly have no sleep.

Here I am now. Standing before a crossroad, whether to sleep early or to stay awake at night. The thing is, I’m sick of being late to class. That’s what I want to say in this post, in one sentence.

Further readings :
The Most Successful Techniques for Rising Early, by Leo Babauta
How I Become and Early Riser, by Leo Babauta