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Night Brained, Right Brained?

I am not a morning person. I am a creature of the night. When the sun goes down I wake up. Which is great except that when the sun comes up, I just can’t and conflict ensues—between me and my alarm, me and my job, me and the world.

It’s hardly on purpose. I’m reading or writing away, deep into a Netflix run, zoned out on a new project, and suddenly it’s 3:00 am. Or worse. How’d that happen? I have no idea. But there I am. Facing another much-too-brightly lit morning coma which I’ll slog through like it was mud up to my neck. (Praise be to extra-large coffees.)

Ugh.

I’ve tried to do better, but my brain just isn’t remotely sleepy at 10:00 pm, and my best efforts to hit the bed at a civilized hour always end in failure. I still stay up. I just do it in a horizontal position. And if it’s at all possible, I’ll stay in that position until it’s nearly time for lunch.

I’ve been feeling like I should be more like everybody else, but then I saw this: People who stay up and sleep in do better creatively and function at higher levels (though maybe not in the morning!) than the rest of the world.

Night birds and early-risers are equally productive when they first wake (whenever that is), but later in the day, when early-risers’ energy and attention drop off a cliff, the night people keep on going. In effect, they get more day to enjoy, and they enjoy it with sunnier moods and less stress.

Suddenly I don’t feel so bad about all my late nights. And to me that’s the real takeaway. It’s not that my way beats your way or you’re better than me. It’s that we should learn to be happy with ourselves whoever we are. Every way of being has its advantages, and Life is all about going with the one that works best for each of us. That’s not something to fight. It’s something to accept and honor whatever it looks like. Because it’s all good. Even in the dead of night.

 


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