It's time to wake up and smell the coffee.
April 11, 2015 12:30 PM   Subscribe

Stop gloating, morning people. You might be up early, but you aren't morally superior. What's your chronotype? Find out here.
posted by Miko (116 comments total) 53 users marked this as a favorite
I honestly have no idea if I'm naturally a night owl or just years of bar tending and working shows have ruined my sleep patterns forever.

I don't think I've reliably woken up before 10am in a decade.

(Also, there are less distractions at night so it's better for working)
posted by The Whelk at 12:43 PM on April 11, 2015 [7 favorites]

Haha, I definitely shared this gleefully on my Facebook wall when it came out.

One of the "personalized genomics" things I would pay money for would be to get my CLOCK gene sequenced, just to see if I have that "night-owl"-associated allele. Whether or not I have that particular one, I think my circadian rhythm is pretty likely to be hereditary because my mom's whole side of the family is full of 70+-year-olds who still routinely eat dinner at 9 or 10 pm (around when my dad is falling asleep in his armchair) and go to bed after 1 am.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:43 PM on April 11, 2015 [3 favorites]

You know what, morning people?

Owls EAT larks. Mock at your own peril.
posted by Samizdata at 12:43 PM on April 11, 2015 [43 favorites]

I wonder if society is set up for morning people because 24-hour lighting hasn't been around that long.
posted by aniola at 12:47 PM on April 11, 2015

I am such an extreme night owl that 2 questions into the questionnaire it told me "This questionnaire was not designed for people with your sleep / waking pattern. The results may not be valid for you."

sleeping from 6am to 2pm is glorious
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:48 PM on April 11, 2015 [35 favorites]

I got the same thing. The rest of you guys are so chronotypical.
posted by XMLicious at 12:51 PM on April 11, 2015 [4 favorites]

Scored 50. I swing both ways, it seems.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:51 PM on April 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yup, same here; I tried going through it changing an early answer so it'd let me fill it out, but then it claims that I like to go to sleep by 1 am and that waking up at 7:45 am to do light therapy is a good idea.

I do "like" to go to sleep by 1 am, because I sort of need to be at work during the day, but if I actually get to sleep by 1 I congratulate myself on the early bedtime. And as for waking up at 7:45 am, FTN.
posted by nat at 12:51 PM on April 11, 2015 [5 favorites]

Suppose you can choose your own work hours. Assume that you work a five-hour day (including breaks), your job is interesting and you are paid based on your performance.

Suppose you stop rubbing it in how far removed this is from my actual job.

This was interesting, in that it turns out I'm moderate evening when I would have thought I was more definitely evening. But it said my "natural bedtime" was 12.45am and that seems about right.

(While I was taking the test my partner was calling me for something. I said I'm doing a test to find out if I'm a morning or evening person. His snort was that of a man who has to drag me out of bed every. single. morning.)
posted by billiebee at 12:54 PM on April 11, 2015 [27 favorites]

I haven't had an extended period of being totally on my own clock in many years, so it's hard to separate how I feel in the morning or evening from the work schedule that is imposed on me. My insomnia issues cause me a lot more grief than do any issues about waking up earlier or later.
posted by Dip Flash at 1:05 PM on April 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm a morning person, and it's actually a bit of a pain in the ass. On the one hand, it's not hard to get up for work, but on the other hand, most of the really fun stuff happens after I turn into a pumpkin at about 9:45 PM. What I really want to be is one of those short-sleepers who can get by fine on 3 hours of sleep a night. Those are the people who should really be smug.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 1:07 PM on April 11, 2015 [52 favorites]

It's hard to answer some of those questions, because my damn back tends to be what dictates when I wake up, and often when I need to go to bed, and not whatever my normal cycle might be.

I tested Intermediate.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:08 PM on April 11, 2015

I'm an intermediate.

I think I used to very much be an owl, but years of the alarm going off at 5:30 in the morning has reset things. When I had much more freedom of schedule, I was happily awake until two or three in the morning and then would sleep until 8 am or so, and then perhaps nap again in the afternoon.

One summer I had a job as a baker, and I had to be at work at 3 am. I'd try to be asleep by 10 pm or so, but this was in Maine and it stayed light so late that it was hard to make myself feel sleepy, even if I hadn't napped after my shift.
posted by rtha at 1:18 PM on April 11, 2015

I like that zone between about 4 AM and 8 AM best. No one will call you or email you with some trivial crap about the whole database having been deleted or whatever and it's quiet and dark and peaceful and then the sun rises. It's the perfect time to practice music or meditate or exercise or write.
posted by thelonius at 1:18 PM on April 11, 2015 [24 favorites]

They want me to go to bed at midnight (good, this is about right) and start light treatment at 6:45? How few hours of sleep am I supposed to live on?
posted by jeather at 1:21 PM on April 11, 2015 [8 favorites]

Also it doesn't even begin to take seasonality into account.
posted by jeather at 1:21 PM on April 11, 2015 [3 favorites]

Look, I get Konnikova thinks embracing one's chronotype is a good thing and I'd be the first to agree.

But let's be honest: early risers are inherently better people.
posted by mistersquid at 1:26 PM on April 11, 2015 [11 favorites]

definite evening is the new INTJ
posted by logicpunk at 1:27 PM on April 11, 2015 [33 favorites]

If I can sleep whenever I want, I sleep (approximately) between 2 am and 6 am, and again 3 pm to 6 pm. I was actually able to do this for many years, and it was wonderful. I guess I'm an unholy or extremely holy Lark/Owl hybrid monster and/or angel.
posted by taz at 1:33 PM on April 11, 2015 [4 favorites]

I'm a night owl parent of two preschoolers. My result was: FUCKED.
posted by jimmythefish at 1:35 PM on April 11, 2015 [46 favorites]

I wonder if society is set up for morning people because 24-hour lighting hasn't been around that long.

I was thinking similar thoughts when reading this. It made sense to castigate people for sleeping in in the eighteenth century, when if you slept until 10 you had basically shortened your possible workday by a good four, five hours. Of course you'd get less done and appear chronically lazy and unable to get your act together. The advent of electric lighting should have freed us from that, but unfortunately it came along just as mechanical industrial factory schedules were being developed...and once those started everything else (business hours, services, restaurants, etc) hewed to them, and we never really backed out of that system. Now I think we're just stuck in the assumptions remaining from that era.

I sleep (approximately) between 2 am and 6 am, and again 3 pm to 6 pm

Or maybe you just need to live in Spain or Italy.
posted by Miko at 1:37 PM on April 11, 2015 [11 favorites]

Or Greece. :)
posted by taz at 1:40 PM on April 11, 2015 [5 favorites]

Is there an option that's LOWER than "not at all alert" for the first 30 minutes of the morning?

Sigh. (This is why I keep defaulting to cereal, even though it's not healthy for me.)

That said, now that I'm forced to get up no later than 9:30 on weekends (so that I'm not screwed when Monday comes around), I have a certain amount of sympathy for morning-person friends who would plan activities starting before noon on weekends and then get frustrated that no one wanted to participate. I also have developed an appreciation for how much less crowded places are in the morning. And it's cool to get stuff done and still have the rest of the day ahead, though.

I'd trade all that to not feel tired all the time, though.
posted by wintersweet at 1:42 PM on April 11, 2015 [3 favorites]

It's interesting that the article didn't mention, at all, the "how long would the day be if you could choose?" aspect. I'm definitely a night owl, but I sometimes think that is largely a function of the fact that I would stay awake 20~24 hours and then sleep ~12 hours, given a choice. 36 hour days!

Also, taz, do they not say humans used to sleep in spurts back before "society", just as you would prefer to do?
posted by mbatch at 2:02 PM on April 11, 2015 [9 favorites]

I am a morning person. I do literally quit braining at 10:30, 11pm. So they were right about that. Kinda sucks sometimes.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 2:07 PM on April 11, 2015 [3 favorites]

> unholy or extremely holy Lark/Owl hybrid monster

You wouldn't like me when I'm sleepy.
posted by XMLicious at 2:12 PM on April 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

I *can't* stop gloating, I'm an introvert.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:15 PM on April 11, 2015 [4 favorites]

> What I really want to be is one of those short-sleepers who can get by fine on 3 hours of sleep a night.

Getting old will usually achieve that for you.
Did for me :)
posted by twidget at 2:21 PM on April 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

You have decided to do physical exercise.

posted by ghostbikes at 2:22 PM on April 11, 2015 [24 favorites]


Got it, Death. Thanks.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:28 PM on April 11, 2015 [9 favorites]

seriously though, i'm depressed (working on it) and resultingly having both sorta-insomnia and constant-tiredness, and i'm trying to freelance, so i've been kind of just letting myself do what I want and see what happens naturally for the past few months as an experiment. I am still a complete waste of life about 23/7, but I got a "moderate evening" on this thing.
posted by ghostbikes at 2:33 PM on April 11, 2015

I am a morning person. I do literally quit braining at 10:30, 11pm. So they were right about that. Kinda sucks sometimes.

Yeah, I lose my ability to use words when I'm sleepy, plus most of my mental filter. And that happens at about nine thirty, ten pm ish for me, which has occasionally been interesting at parties. Especially because I act startlingly similar when I'm drunk to how I act when I'm getting sleepy.

When I was in high school I woke up at 4am every day and it was beautiful, for pretty much all the reasons you night owl people are citing. All that alone time to myself! But then I went to college and started socializing more with people in my actual time zone and had to adjust my internal clock significantly later if I ever wanted to socialize again.
posted by sciatrix at 2:34 PM on April 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

"there are less distractions at night so it's better for working"

I can't recall the last time I got a phone call between 3 am and 10 am, or even a proposed social activity that would tempt me away from my work.

I guess this all depends what our working definitions of "late" and "early" are.
posted by idiopath at 2:35 PM on April 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

How does the old Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise relate to ethical or moral superiority? This is the first I've heard that trope, and it isn't even true.

For the record I've been an early riser my whole life. Like watching color patterns on TV before the cartoons start early. The downside was that I couldn't stay awake past 8:00 PM until I was a teenager. Literally could not.
posted by zinon at 2:36 PM on April 11, 2015

I skip sleeping about one night a week and usually feel considerably better for doing so. Depending on where in the week I am, either I'm staying up way late or I'm falling asleep quite early. (I.e., the night after said all-nighter.) I have no idea why, but it's been working for me, at the moment. I'm not sure if that makes me "both" or "neither".
posted by Sequence at 2:38 PM on April 11, 2015

Being a morning person is easy. Step one: hit middle age. There is no step two.
posted by zardoz at 2:39 PM on April 11, 2015 [4 favorites]

The joy of being an early rising freelancer is that I can talk to my UK clients while the rest of my clients are still asleep.
posted by Ideefixe at 2:42 PM on April 11, 2015

I'm a moderate morning but my sleep patterns also change with the seasons. In the summer I sleep less. I tend to wake and get sleepy with the sun so in the shortened winter days, left completely to my body schedule means sleeping a lot.

My natural waking time cycles between 5ish and 8ish over the year.
posted by Jalliah at 2:53 PM on April 11, 2015

Actually if I could somehow arrange my schedule to have physically demanding but mindless work in the morning followed by a large lunch, nap, and thinking hard work at night, that would probably be ideal.
posted by The Whelk at 3:01 PM on April 11, 2015


yeah, no shit, now please tell my boss.
posted by poffin boffin at 3:01 PM on April 11, 2015 [37 favorites]

Early to rise/ and early to bed/ makes a man healthy / but socially dead.
posted by The Whelk at 3:03 PM on April 11, 2015 [12 favorites]

on the other hand, most of the really fun stuff happens after I turn into a pumpkin at about 9:45 PM.

ArbitraryAndCapricious have you tried the working class New Orleans workaround? You go home and go straight to bed after work and get up at around 10:30 P.M. and go party. I never tried it but I have known a bunch of people who did that at least twice a week.
posted by bukvich at 3:06 PM on April 11, 2015 [4 favorites]

That's not just a NOLA thing, every person I knew who went out a lot but also had a job did that.

Its called a disco nap for a reason!
posted by The Whelk at 3:09 PM on April 11, 2015 [17 favorites]

Yes the nap after work, go out after 10pm and be up and ready to start at 8am was my life for the first couple of years living at a major ski resort.

Youth helped but the 'nap' became necessary for survival.
posted by Jalliah at 3:40 PM on April 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

I also got the quiz might not be suitable--but I will tell you finding out about chronotypes havev been liberating. It allowed me to stop feeling guilty about getting up post noon. I still have people shame me for it. Fuck em
posted by PinkMoose at 3:43 PM on April 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

This chronotyping stuff is misleading. I used to be definitely definitely evening, but life intervened and now I'm moderate evening. I used to stay up to 2 or 3 and found that post 9pm was my most productive. But gradschool is over and now I have to wake up at 6:30am by the latest every day and after a few months of that, it's not so painful, and it's more or less impossible to sleep past 8, and hard to stay awake past 11:30. It feels kind of cool to wake up with the dawn. You are not your chronotype! Take hold of your life! With an alarm clock!
posted by dis_integration at 4:14 PM on April 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

I'm not a lark for sure but I'm also not really an owl, so when I got a score of 43, intermediate, that seems about right.
posted by Lynsey at 4:20 PM on April 11, 2015

The amount of social pressure about when and how we sleep is so infuriating.

Just try working a swing shift job and having a couple drinks a few hours after you got off work. Yeah, it's about 5 AM, what about it? It's my early evening asshole.

Stay up late and sleep past noon and people will assume you are lazy. I mean, nobody has ever done anything productive after 5pm ever, right?

Wake up early, and suddenly people are calling you grandpa and call you boring for sleeping early.

Why is this so hard? Why do people have to be judgmental assholes about any of this?
posted by idiopath at 4:22 PM on April 11, 2015 [26 favorites]

Yeah, but isn't this for people that sleep? Sleeping is so 2010.
posted by oceanjesse at 4:27 PM on April 11, 2015

Bogus test methinks because it doesn't include a nap as a possible mid-day break.

When my sked allows a mid-day nap, it's: up before sunrise, get a large amount of whatever done, lunch and nap, back to work and work another number of hours until after 6ish, dinner/social stuff, then I am energized for...whatever again until ~midnight.

Many people in equatorial areas have a similar sked: mid-days are for a relaxing lunch at home, a nap, them back to work/study/whatever.

+1 for naps!

Gist: Yeah, this quiz needs a mid-day nap question.
posted by CrowGoat at 4:36 PM on April 11, 2015 [8 favorites]

I have to be up at 6 to get to work on time, AND we have cats who like to eat, and after over seven years of this schedule it's still a huge chore to get out of bed in the morning. Although I do think the cats have shifted my natural waking time from 10 or so closer to 8.

I think ideally I'd just prefer to have a "gentleman's morning" with a leisurely shower, hearty hot breakfast, and a pot of coffee with the paper. It's not like I get a whole lot done before noon, anyway.
posted by backseatpilot at 4:43 PM on April 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

Ideally I would wake up between 10am and 11am, and go to sleep about 1am to 2am. Reality is that I often end up staying up later and waking up around 10:30-11ish... so I'm usually a little sleep deprived.

The survey told me I was a moderate-evening person. But at a score of 31 I was probably one question away from being a definite-evening.

I truly hate the mornings; anything before 10am. Nothing has happened yet. I appreciate all the work your morning types do so that when I do wake up the whole world (or at least, my local part of it) is humming along and warmed up for me to do my thing. I don't like that fresh, clean slate feeling; I'd rather have a worn in day to slip into.
posted by sbutler at 4:51 PM on April 11, 2015 [4 favorites]

I did not need a quiz to tell me I'm a Definite Morning. The looks of hatred I get when I wake up full of daffodils, sunshine, and little birdy songs at 5:30 AM is an obvious sign. Another sign is the anxious, reeling wreck I am when I'm out and about after 8 PM. It's 8, 8:30 with everyone at the bar and I turn into this antsy pantsy mess because nobody seems worried that it's time to go home and sleep. They're having a good time and in my head it's: Isn't it time to go home? Isn't anyone concerned about their bedtime? Don't you have to wake up at 6 AM, why are you getting another drink? Ohmygod why are you not more concerned about this? How can you keep laughing and ordering another pitcher and acting like nothing is wrong? You MONSTER- CHICKEN WINGS?!

I don't get why anyone would gloat about being a morning person because you feel hated no matter what time of day it is. You're either disgusting everyone or you're being a party pooper. It's lot like being a hugger - just as one can't assume that everyone wants your hugs, one can't assume that just because it's 8 AM everyone else has run 3 miles, baked rolls, answered 10 emails and is in general all hey world, hey world, hey world! just because you are.

There is also no hell quite like being a Definite Morning married to a Definite Evening: everyone gets to be miserable!
posted by barchan at 4:55 PM on April 11, 2015 [19 favorites]

I'm a Definite Evening, but I really love mornings: I love that bright new day feeling, streets waking up, being able to order breakfast at McDonald's. It's a pity I only get to see them when deeply and horribly jetlagged.

(Also, "five hour" work? This survey really was made by academics, huh)
posted by bonaldi at 6:03 PM on April 11, 2015 [4 favorites]

I'm a morning and evening person. It's afternoons I struggle with.
posted by srboisvert at 6:06 PM on April 11, 2015 [3 favorites]

Haven't ever known a wakes-up-in-early-morning-naturally person. A handful whose normal waking (not "natural" maybe, but usual) was effectively the same were all ex-military and who invariably say "my body wakes me up just in time to avoid being blasted out of bed by reveille."
posted by jfuller at 6:10 PM on April 11, 2015

I was a total night owl in college; I was also kind of depressed. I am now (late 20s) a "definite morning" -- I occasionally sleep in 'til 7 AM on weekends -- and am not depressed. I honestly have no idea what the direction of causation is there, if any.
posted by telegraph at 6:16 PM on April 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

I came out intermediate, which is probably because I've been forced to live on early mornings for too long.

I literally feel sick when I wake up before about 9 a.m. Not like I'm gonna vomit, but queasy. I can't SAY this because I'm female and everyone will assume I'm pregnant. No, I DON'T want a nice brekky-fast and I don't wake up hungry, I wake up sick and not wanting food in my face at 7 a.m. Last night I went to bed around 11:30 and woke up at 8:30, so that's 9 hours. I still felt sick for at least another 45 minutes after waking up and while I couldn't go back to sleep, I couldn't think or function beyond turning on the TV and drooling into space. I am tired of people expecting me to function at 100% (I have been written up for looking sick at an 8 a.m. meeting) and bounce into work with vim and verve--and my industry is full of early birds who love to wake up at 3 a.m. and pass out by 8 p.m. I am tired of having to live on a schedule the rest of the world set up for me to lose at. Sure, it's fine for my 3 a.m. coworker to say she's totally brain dead and can't see at 3 p.m., but it's not okay for me to be like that in the morning. Oh, wait, I should be downing pots of coffee except I can't stand the taste of burned swill.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:24 PM on April 11, 2015 [5 favorites]

Weird story: I have had two sudden sleep pattern transitions, hormonally mediated. I didn't expect either.

My whole adult life, I had been a general morning person, to bed at 10:30, up at 7:00--a regular 8.5 hours per night. Had to have that 8.5, so if I stayed up later, I slept in (if possible). Then at around age 40 I had my gonads out (intersex issues), and after a nasty adjustment found myself empty of sex steroids, and only sleeping 4.5 hours a night. That thing they say about older people needing less sleep? Well, I had that suddenly and in spades.

It's crazy how much more time there is in a day when you only sleep 4.5 hours. I continued to go to bed at 10:30 as I always had, but now I woke up at 3 AM, and had hours and hours of time to myself before work. Of course, what you can do is kind of limited, at least in a place without 24 hour grocery stores and the like. Nobody wants you to be making much noise at that hour, so I spent the time online or reading a book. It was great (except for the fact that I also lost my appetite and my libido). I met a bunch of people from the other side of the globe who were also online chatting.

Then after about three years I started a gender transition with testosterone. I wasn't surprised when my needs for sleep, food and sexitimes returned. What did surprise me is that my chronotype transitioned. I now test as a "moderate evening" person--if I can, I go to bed at 2 AM and get up at 10:30. I have no idea why that would change.

What I can tell you is that after years of being one of those people whose schedule is considered for some reason superior, now I'm in the "lazy" camp. It really is weird how people treat a later schedule as a moral failing, and while I never thought of myself as being moralistic about it (every single partner I've had my whole life has been a night owl), I never really recognized the depth of my own chronotype-privilege until I joined the night owl camp.
posted by DrMew at 6:43 PM on April 11, 2015 [8 favorites]

All of these questions that kept throwing in phrases like, "considering only your internal "clock"" and "if you were entirely free..." made me painfully aware of 1) how hard it is to separate my daily activities from how "innately" rested or fatigued I feel, and 2) how few "entirely free" days I have these days. I'm not sure how reliable my results ("intermediate"!) are, because I can't be completely sure if I truly only considered my "internal clock" while responding...
posted by gemutlichkeit at 6:44 PM on April 11, 2015 [8 favorites]

"Late to sleep and early to rise makes one stupid and blind in the eyes."

Given a choice I'd be up until midnight and sleep until ten. In reality, I was up at six this morning because application deploys are always scheduled by larks, thus helping the universe to tend towards maximum perversity.

I should probably go to bed now.
posted by bitmage at 6:46 PM on April 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

It said my chronotype was, "sun-hating vampire," and that my optimal bedtime is, "eternally, with a stake through the heart as befits an abomination against God and nature."

But it said my optimal staking time was 7:45 am, so that's not gonna happen.
posted by byanyothername at 7:28 PM on April 11, 2015 [13 favorites]

I tested as intermediate but one more point toward evening and I would have been moderate evening. In grad school, when I was healthier, I would have tested utter and complete night owl. Now I just need a lot more sleep and sleep in later and go to bed earlier.

Also it's hard to figure out what time I would naturally get up when there's a clear two-hour difference between wake-up times when I take pain medication and wake-up times when I don't. Which is unnatural, the pain or the extra sleep?
posted by immlass at 7:46 PM on April 11, 2015

So, I started working for myself two years ago, which means I can basically arrange my day as I like it. I am the "imagine if..." person in these questions.

My typical pattern is: awake between 7:30 and 8 am (with no alarm), move much more slowly than I'd like to, get to my office around 11, work until 6/7, then either go home and have dinner or go out and do social things.

However, when I have a specific task to do, with a deadline, I'm usually most productive at night. Most of my daytime productiveness relates to the fact that I need to talk to people during business hours.

So I got intermediate, but if I truly had no other encumbrances, I'd probably be up until 2 am every night.

I do enjoy it when I get an early start to my day, but mostly can't be arsed. Before being self-employed I worked at a job that required me to be up at 6:30 am every day. Never. Again.
posted by dry white toast at 7:51 PM on April 11, 2015

Haven't ever known a wakes-up-in-early-morning-naturally person.

If you are ever in one of those square states out west I extend a full invitation to you to come to my house at 6 in the morning for coffee, blueberry pancakes made from scratch, and learning an entirely new kind of hate.
posted by barchan at 7:55 PM on April 11, 2015 [8 favorites]

Intermediate, which seems to make sense. I actually have functioned pretty well on both ends of the spectrum when given the opportunity to adapt, although I've never enjoyed getting out of bed early, unless there is a really compelling reason (an excellent breakfast with friends, for example). Left to my own devices, and if I wasn't married with kids and a job... my all time favorite way to sleep would be to stay up later, but still set the alarm for early so that I can turn it off with no real obligation when it goes off, blissfully knowing I can sleep in for a few more hours. There should be a word in some language that means, "that feeling that comes over you when you realize that you could get up, but you don't really have to, so you opt to not."
posted by SpacemanStix at 8:05 PM on April 11, 2015 [3 favorites]

1) how hard it is to separate my daily activities from how "innately" rested or fatigued I feel, and 2) how few "entirely free" days I have these days

This, exactly. I realized that almost all of my answers on the quiz were mediated by the realities of my work schedule (and that even when I have a few days off I have to stay on close to the same sleep schedule or things get out of whack).

I'm curious what kind of sleep pattern I would fall into if I had a several-month vacation, something long enough to really and truly get away from the work schedule.

Haven't ever known a wakes-up-in-early-morning-naturally person.

I never use an alarm, except as a backup. But like I said above, I'm not sure if this is really my natural pattern, or just my fully acclimating to a work schedule that requires early mornings, and waking up on my own is far nicer than waking up to an alarm.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:05 PM on April 11, 2015

Although now that I've been thinking about it, are there chronotypes. . . . or is that breakfast is the best meal of all and the only meal worth eating and maybe there's people who could care less and people who just can't wait to wake up and eat the bestest meal of the entire day. And maybe night owls know that breakfast is much easier to make an excuse to eat the later they stay up. So maybe night owls and morning people are actually people with the common goal of breakfast. Maybe all you intermediate types are just people who eat salad. *looks suspiciously at intermediates*

Breakfast! *gleefully claps hands* I already can't wait for breakfast tomorrow and sleep is the fastest way to get yummy breakfast in my tummy. Breakfast!
posted by barchan at 8:06 PM on April 11, 2015 [4 favorites]

I love watching the sun rise, I just hate getting my sleeping butt out of bed to do it. For every year that goes by, it gets harder and harder to get out of bed in the winter, and I want to go to bed as soon as it gets dark. During high summer when it's light till 11pm, I'm still out riding till after dusk, enjoying the cool of the desert.

Yeah, one thing that really boogererd up my sleep schedule was moving from Idaho to Turkey. I think it's skewed permanently.

Sleeping is wonderful. Being out and about in the early morning is wonderful. It's the part where you have to wake up to get there that sucks.
posted by BlueHorse at 8:11 PM on April 11, 2015 [3 favorites]

When I was about nine years old, I pretended I was asleep at a family friends' house one morning through many rounds of shaking and "hey you" and still-asleep checks by the three kids so that I wouldn't have to go church with them. It worked.

You become what you pretend to be — I think it was either Vonnegut or Descartes, and they were right. I sleep, therefore I am.
posted by sylvanshine at 8:20 PM on April 11, 2015 [3 favorites]

I just like to be at work when everyone else is, or slightly before to get my shit together before the action starts. Not being able to contact someone promptly when I need to drives me crazy. Plus, if they're at work when I'm not, they're probably plotting against me.
posted by ctmf at 9:29 PM on April 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

When I was in college, I worked at a lab for a few years and I got used to being one of the first or the first person in the lab in the mornings. I frequently let myself in, set up, and was up and moving before anyone else was much in. This happy state of affairs persisted for some time.

Then another student joined the lab who got in even earlier than I did. You would be surprised how sulky I got about this--she was AROUND in my quiet time! She was moving in my spaces! My quiet solitude was irrevocably broken! I was always very polite to her but for some time she and I had an unspoken war about who could get into the lab earliest and most reliably.
posted by sciatrix at 9:54 PM on April 11, 2015 [4 favorites]

The thing said I'm a 'moderate evening' which seems... I dunno, close-ish. Restaurant hours are ideal for me; wake up around 11 or 12, putter a bit, maybe achieve some things, off to work for somewhere between 2-4PM, finish around 11, bed at 4 or 5AM. Fantastic.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:57 PM on April 11, 2015 [3 favorites]

But gradschool is over and now I have to wake up at 6:30am by the latest every day and after a few months of that, it's not so painful, and it's more or less impossible to sleep past 8

The thing is, that doesn't work for all of us. I have forced myself to get up at 6:30 or 7 or 8 (depending on work schedules) every weekday for months at a time, and it does not get any easier. I still feel physically ill in the mornings. Food still makes me want to gag. Forming words is exhausting.

And no matter how early I wake up in the morning or how little sleep I get, I always get that second wind around 11 pm or so, which means it's pretty much impossible for me to get to bed before midnight. I consider it a victory if the lights are out before 1 am.

Yes, I practice good sleep hygiene, etc, etc. But I'm a night person. My ideal sleep hours would probably be 5 am to noon or somewhere like that, but I can't really make that work with the rest of my life, so basically I just suffer and muddle through the best I can.

Am I a little bitter about this fact? Yeah, kind of. I get frustrated by this whole trope that it's lazy/immature/whatever to be a night owl, and I'm even more frustrated by this idea that all it takes is some perseverance or will power to fix this issue. I wish that were the case, because I would love to wake up at 7 or 8 am and not feel like death, but I've had to come to terms with the fact that it just isn't going to happen for me.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:08 PM on April 11, 2015 [9 favorites]

The above rant was brought to you by the fact that I had to get up extra early today, and then spent the morning and early afternoon running around doing mentally and physically exhausting stuff for my job, and by the time I got home, it was too late to take a nap, soI spent the rest of the day binge watching TV and playing games on my phone because I was too tired to do anything else.

And yet, it's after 1 am, and I'm more awake than I've been all day. Ugh.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:12 PM on April 11, 2015

I've always been an evening person, even as a small child. I, like jenfullmoon, feel ill if I am awake before 8 or 9 or so.
It took me well into adulthood to figure out that not everyone feels sick in the morning! I thought that everyone awake before 8 were obnoxious pretenders, somehow putting on perky faces to mask the hangover-like feelings of being awake before 8 am. I thought this is what people endured to be polite, the morning pain just another workplace hazard like RSI.
I was on vacation when this hit me: others in my group were willing and wanting to be awake before 8! And they felt fine! (And I felt sick and icky all day on the early wake up days. Oh well.)
I still can't believe people feel ok being awake that early. And I thank the lucky stars every day for my flexible job.
posted by littlewater at 10:16 PM on April 11, 2015 [4 favorites]

I'm a lark who currently has a slumber party of young owls in my living room. I'd usually have been asleep for an hour by now, but tonight I've given up and am even on the Internet.

Unrelated: is it possible to aerosolize Benadry? Asking for a friend.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:17 PM on April 11, 2015 [5 favorites]

Here are what my answers would be if this weren't a multiple choice thing:

During the first half hour after you wake up in the morning, how do you feel?

Like death. Like horrible, miserable death, and woe unto anyone who tries to make conversation with me.

If you usually have to get up at a specific time in the morning, how much do you depend on an alarm clock?

I desperately rely on the five phone alarms I set at intermittent intervals, as well as the extra annoying alarm that I set across the room. On days when I set an alarm but don't have to get up for work, I've been known to snooze for an hour, and sometimes even two.

How alert do you feel during the first half hour after you wake up in the morning?

Does this count the half hour of pressing the snooze button? I usually set my alarm 1.5 or 2 hours early. Here's how that breaks down:

30 minutes of snoozing
30 min to an hour of reading stuff on the internet before I can get out of bed
15 min to desperately throw on clothes and makeup.
(I wolf down breakfast in the car)

You have decided to do physical exercise. A friend suggests that you do this for one hour twice a week, and the best time for him is between 7-8 a.m. Bearing in mind nothing but your own internal "clock," how do you think you would perform?

If someone suggested this to me, I would laugh in their face. If some miracle happened and they managed to get me outside at 7 am to exercise, I think I would probably just vomit/pass out/curl up in the fetal position if anyone actually tried to make me exert myself.

Seriously, I don't think I could exercise that early in the morning even if my life depended on it.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:24 PM on April 11, 2015 [6 favorites]

It took me well into adulthood to figure out that not everyone feels sick in the morning!

Yeah, so much this! I thought being an adult meant feeling like death every single morning, even after 10 cups of coffee. I assumed people who exercised in the morning were just like horrible masochists or something.

Then finally, it dawned on me. There are some people who choose to go to bed before midnight, and don't feel like they want to die if they wake up before 7 am.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:27 PM on April 11, 2015

Any other massive night owls got '500 Internal Server Error' on the survey?
posted by motty at 10:51 PM on April 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

Intermediate, I guess I am a day time person. I get the sick feeling LSM and moon are talking about if I wake up before 5am, which lends credence to the idea of the shift.

I think my ideal work chronoenvironment, however, but only for solitary creative work, would be 24-36 hours of uninterrupted time followed by as much sleep and rest days until I felt like doing it all again. Unfortunately that doesn't fit well into the workweek. The tyrrany of regularly scheduled meetings.
posted by Joe Chip at 11:06 PM on April 11, 2015

I spent two years as a morning TV news producer. I'd wake up at 10PM and go to bed no later than 2PM. Of course, that was my "ideal." That rarely happened. I'd frequently be unable to fall asleep, or wake up at 8:30PM after three or four hours and just have to deal with it. It was a nightmare two years -- my temper was short, my schedule (and behavior) destroyed two relationships, I developed a minor dependence on sleeping pills.

No wonder -- I was brain damaged from lack of sleep.

Night shift workers deserve hazard pay, straight up. (I made that argument to my news director after a year on nightside. He did not buy it, I did not get a raise, and I started looking for another job.)

When I finally got a news job that let me work dayside, it was like I was a whole new person, despite being a natural night owl anyway and preferring to wake up around 11AM and go to bed around 2AM. I woke up naturally at sunrise. I had the energy to go for runs. My thinking was clearer, I was happier, I laughed and smiled more easily. Life outside your natural sleep cycle is difficult; life on the night shift is nothing short of hell.

But going to the bank and making hair appointments is easier. That's about all that can be said for it.
posted by none of these will bring disaster at 11:58 PM on April 11, 2015 [4 favorites]

Stay up late and sleep past noon and people will assume you are lazy.

This drives me nuts too. I work from 4pm-12:30 am, so I usually get home around 1am. In theory, I could probably be in bed by 1:30 and get up at 10 or whatever, but despite my best efforts, that doesn't work for me - I need the winding down time after my shift, plus I'm hungry. So I usually have dinner and watch TV for a few hours before going to bed at like 5am and then I get up just in time to get ready and go to work.

But when people ring me or knock on the door or whatever in the morning and I'm obviously sleepy/have been asleep, there's all these snarky little "oh, must be nice" comments and I'm just like aaargh, no. Having done both, I can say I would much rather work day shifts and be able to go out and socialise after work, and, like, maybe see daylight occasionally. Desperately wanting regular sunlight was a major part of the reason I started biking to work. The half an hour it takes me to get to work in the afternoons is often the nicest part of my day.
posted by lwb at 1:41 AM on April 12, 2015 [3 favorites]

I'm the complete opposite: I'm totally lazy and have a much easier daily routine than most people, but these days for various reasons I'm getting up between 2AM and 4AM, so people assume that I'm some sort of paragon of monastic discipline. Sometimes when I mention what time I got up to someone their face visibly falls and they appear to be ashamed. But they almost certainly get less sleep than I do.
posted by Sockpuppet Liberation Front at 2:05 AM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

ah, well, time for me to go to sleep
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:20 AM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

I sleep 5am-noon, sometimes i go to bed a bit earlier, sometimes i sleep in a bit later. I haven't been able to go to bed before midnight regularly since i was maybe... 11 years old? And i'm completely fine with it. I love night time, i love doing stuff at night.

Suppose you can choose your own work hours. Assume that you work a five-hour day (including breaks), your job is interesting and you are paid based on your performance.

I almost had this job until a few weeks ago when i basically got constructively laid off. I was horribly underpaid, but made a bit more than i needed to live on and it was completely impossible to move on from. Get up at 12, head to work, get out of work at 5-7pm and then do whatever the fuck you want. It's like a drug, it's almost impossible to wean yourself off that lifestyle. The way they got me was that i was also on call 24/7, and was paid hourly. So ~25 hours a week kinda sucked.

The amount of social pressure about when and how we sleep is so infuriating.

Seriously. I've seen all sides of this. I've been a barista who worked opening shift and got to the point where i would basically reflexively fall asleep upright on a couch at maybe 10pm. I've also had several jobs in a row where i, for various scheduling or create my own schedule reasons, didn't have to be in to work until 10am-1pm or even later and would regularly sleep in til lunch time. I've gotten the boring grandpa, and the lazy fucker.

And when i was barista for quite a while, i never got used to it. I worked almost every day, and had the exact same shift every day. I felt like shit every single morning no matter how much i slept and constantly got told i must be doing it wrong/i'd get used to it/etc. Especially by my mutant mom who sleeps from midnight to 6am every day. Pretty much everything litera scripta manet describes.

Even my partner, who had been around for years of my schedule regularly gave me shit for sleeping in and implied that not only was it lazy, but that my employer probably saw me as lazy for having a schedule that me and them had agreed upon and i had worked for years at that point. Why didn't i just get up at a normal person time, putz around the house, and go in to work when it was time?

There's such strict adherence to the 9-5 schedule, and so much messaging that it's natural and healthy... even when people have to jump through stupid hoops to actually achieve it like getting up before dawn to start getting ready and go to work, or go to the gym before work or whatever. People like Tim Cook getting up at 4am. I just don't get it.

I think the best thing i can hope for is finding a some kind of job where i work say, 12pm-10pm 4 days a week. A friend of mine did that and it sounded awesome. I already know from experience that getting up at 7am or earlier will ruin my entire life, and i'm really tired of being judged for it.

Oh, and as a random fun note, during puberty and homeschooling i was sleeping from 6am to 6pm every day. Both my parents got up at 5:30/6 so it was a pretty regular occurrence to have "breakfast" with one or both of them and then head to bed. Weirdest schedule i ever had, and holy shit did i get a lot of gaming/anime watching/general nerdery in there. Especially in the 12-5am timeslot. Then again... that's what i still do, i just sleep a lot less.
posted by emptythought at 4:23 AM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

I am a morning person. I do literally quit braining at 10:30, 11pm.

I quit braining at the same time. Not a morning person, though. )':
posted by Quilford at 5:10 AM on April 12, 2015

The amount of social pressure about when and how we sleep is so infuriating.

Yeah. And for those of you who hate coming in early (for you) to work, maybe it will make you feel better to know that we morning people who come in *really* early inevitably get judged for not being willing to "work late" ? So at the end of the day we feel like how you do at the beginning - blurry and resentful.
posted by barchan at 6:13 AM on April 12, 2015 [10 favorites]

barchan, I've seen that with an old colleague of mine X, he'd get in before 6am and get a prodigious amount of shit done and this one project manager would always act all cut when he wanted to talk to X at 4pm and he wasn't around, or do dick things like schedule 4pm meetings.
posted by Joe Chip at 7:20 AM on April 12, 2015

or is that breakfast is the best meal of all and the only meal worth eating and maybe there's people who could care less and people who just can't wait to wake up and eat the bestest meal of the entire day.

OKAY BUT have you considered: have breakfast at any time of day, whenever you choose, because french toast has no rules, only deliciousness.

also on pancake tuesday i had pancakes 3 times
posted by poffin boffin at 9:08 AM on April 12, 2015 [3 favorites]

The question about being hungry in the morning is actually the most interesting one to me. I'm a breakfast eater: I can skip lunch in a pinch, but I need to have breakfast or I'm starving all day. I've always been baffled by people who are grossed out by breakfast. I should have realized it was a morning-person thing, but I never put that together.

But I agree that there is no wrong time to eat pancakes or French toast.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:15 AM on April 12, 2015

Night shift workers deserve hazard pay, straight up.

Eh, I'm split on that. We have three shifts (or two 12-hour shifts sometimes) and there are people who would rather be on the backshift than anything else. I'm glad, because that means I don't have to. They do get a small backshift bonus, 10% I think.

These people though, I mean they're competent obviously, or we wouldn't trust them alone at night. But their attitudes are fucking toxic. (I'm speaking generally here, there are exceptions) They like backshift because there's not as much "management bullshit." They passive-aggressively work at cross-purposes (but cleverly within the letter of the instructions) to management's longer-range goals. They enjoy the petty power that comes with not having a boss readily available on-site to overrule anything they say. If the boss does insist on being called for certain things, they call 1000x a night out of spite. It's a EEO nightmare because they think the rules don't apply to them.

Plus, there's just less work to do; only the critical stuff continues overnight. It's an easier job. So on the one hand, I hate the idea of rewarding people for that. On the other hand, maybe if I could pay more, i'd get some better volunteers to choose from and not BE rewarding shitheads.
posted by ctmf at 9:30 AM on April 12, 2015

I am both a morning person and a later breakfast eater. I usually wait at least an hour after waking to have breakfast. I also don't just like putzing around in the morning, so my usual schedule when I have a regular job is to wake up around 30 to 45 minutes before I have to be out of the house, poke at the internet for a few minutes in bed, get ready for work, go to work, and then eat breakfast once I actually get to work.

Computer science seems full of night owls and as a morning person I always felt at a disadvantage because all-nighters were super common and I was turning into a pumpkin at midnight. I remember writing code past my bedtime and ending up with fine working programs, but then being at a state where I couldn't even remember what this code was doing, much less how I did it. I never found a partner willing to wake up at 6am to do work then.

Japan's business-world adherence to the 9am start time baffled me because it meant that practically everyone in the country was going to work at the same time. It seems like some flexibility there would make the morning trains at least a little less squashy.

I don't know if I ever felt morally superior to late risers. I am all for flexible schedules for salaried workers and some sort of "core hours" for meetings somewhere around 11 to 3 or something.
posted by that girl at 9:31 AM on April 12, 2015

Parenting has changed my natural sleep inclinations forever. I do not even know what it is like to be able to go back to sleep in the morning. Kid is up, I am up. Spouse does not have this problem, and I admit it makes me a little mad that I had to get up with the kid at 6am this morning and dealt with breakfast and entertainment and such, and three and a half hours later he is still asleep. On the other hand, he is definitely a night person who feels completely unable to function in the morning and I don't really have a hard time having to get up at 6 every day so on the suffering scale we are probably about equal.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:33 AM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Not to turn this into an unasked askme or anything but you should just drop the baby right on his head at 6am and say WE MADE THIS TOGETHER WE RAISE THIS TOGETHER BAD BOYZ 4 LYF.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:36 AM on April 12, 2015 [9 favorites]

I can't be the only evening person to have no children mainly because I just could not deal with the thought of being up during the night and awake at 6am doing Parenty Stuff, right? I'm always afraid that if I do have kids then Social Services will be knocking on the door enquiring why my offspring are crawling around in their own filth and rooting in cupboards for food while I sleep soundly. When my nieces stay with me at the weekend they know to come into my room when they get up (and they're not early risers by tiny human standards - maybe 8.30am or so) and I tell them to play with their toys while "Auntie has a little rest" until I absolutely have to get up around 9 because they need something totally inconvenient like breakfast. I literally don't know how people do it.
posted by billiebee at 10:13 AM on April 12, 2015 [4 favorites]

I am very much a morning person but not at all smug because my closest colleagues are all night folks. Many times I've had to bite my tongue from saying 'I don't call or text you 4 hours before work when I'm up, so how about not calling me 4 hours AFTER work'? Oh and when we 'stay late cos it's busy? I already started 90 mins earlier! (Flexible start times; that at least is great)
posted by genuinely curious at 11:06 AM on April 12, 2015

[my whole previous comment]: Sorry, that was a poorly-considered rant. I'm just frustrated with certain people lately and have a touchy problem to solve. I don't think people's preferred time of day says anything about them by itself. If anything, I wish more people liked to work nights, even though I hate it.

The worst schedule I've ever been on was rotating shift. i.e., whatever your preferred schedule, you're off of it most of the time, plus you have to constantly be adjusting from one to another. THAT should get ridiculous hazard pay.
posted by ctmf at 11:07 AM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

"Isn't it crazy how the kids can just go to sleep sober like that?"
posted by The Whelk at 11:09 AM on April 12, 2015 [6 favorites]

The question about being hungry in the morning is actually the most interesting one to me. I'm a breakfast eater: I can skip lunch in a pinch, but I need to have breakfast or I'm starving all day.

That's actually the worst part of getting up at 6-10am for me. Not only am I not hungry, but I'm queasy. Forcing myself to eat is like some at-gunpoint torture shit that feels terribly visceral, like some exaggerated horror movie where someone's being forced to eat their own pet and you hear every squishing and crunching sound at high volume. And the worst thing is if i have to get up at 7 or something, I WILL be hungry at 10ish... But I'll still feel terrible and disgusting.

I love breakfast food items though. I just want to eat them at 11-1pm, maybe a half hour earlier on vacation or something if others insist.

I also regularly skip breakfast, eat lunch, then eat a 3rd meal at midnight.

The fucking people who have told me repeatedly I'd get fat because "omg ur body is not made for that midnight snacking is awful your body is like shut down it all just sludges up and never leaves 2 many calories love handles!", or that it's never a valid replacement and I'm ruining my metabolism or whatever. Ugh.

It's weird how otherwise intelligent people will spout stuff that's "the body has ways of shutting it down" levels of asinine when it comes to eating, food, or sleep. There's really quite a bit of dumb woo/superstition/grandpa lore about sleep that people just accept as fact.
posted by emptythought at 1:13 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

I work rotating shifts. So my intermediate ranking on the quiz must be from being constantly screwed up as far as my schedule goes. If left to my own devices I would be a slight evening I think. But I am not. I don't quite get full hazard pay but I do get slightly more working from 6 pm to 6 am. And when people start going off about overpaid government workers I'm like "Fuck you, that money is compensation for the 5 to10 years getting knocked off my life due to shiftwork"
posted by weathergal at 1:45 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

Got message about this questionnaire perhaps not being valid for my chronotype.

Got 500 Internal Server Error when I tried to fudge some of the answers.

Ok, ok, don't rub it in... (I'm a "massive night owl")

that girl: I've had the same experience of writing code not past my bedtime, but significantly outside normal productive hours for me, and getting working code that I can't remember writing. It's fairly annoying.
posted by iffthen at 4:04 PM on April 12, 2015

Oh and what's this talk of turning into pumpkins...

please keep it up, it's quite funny
posted by iffthen at 4:13 PM on April 12, 2015

About the eating thing: It's a sort of paradoxical issue for me. I used to never eat anything in the morning, but these days I find an empty stomach just makes mornings even more miserable. However, I have a hard time literally getting food down my throat. Like, I will gag and almost throw up if I eat the wrong thing or eat too quickly. The best solution I've come up with is that I eat the same exact thing for breakfast every single morning. Or rather, I eat the same thing for 6 months to a year, and then I switch to something else. I know this might seem boring to some people, but it's really the only thing I can handle in the mornings. This way, my body knows what to expect, and my brain doesn't have to do any extra work.
posted by litera scripta manet at 5:05 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Oh, this reminds me of a funny story:

When I was growing up, I never wanted to eat breakfast, so my mother was always trying to negotiate with me to get me to eat something. During my senior year of high school, for some reason I latched on to those disgusting power bars*, mostly because I could take them in the car with me while I inevitably raced to school because I was always running late.

Anyway, I would often only eat a few bites, but since I was messy and lazy, I would sort of just leave them in the car, and I guess I tended to shove them under the seat so no one would notice.

Cut to several years later, when my parents were selling my car. They were showing the car to a prospective buyer, and I guess they moved the driver's seat all the way back (i'm very short), and when they did that, they discovered a mountain of half eaten power bars. Fortunately by that point, my mother just thought it was really funny.

On a related note, it's kind of frightening that those power bars did not really change or deteriorate at all after a year or more of sitting in that car, even though we had summers that regularly hit 100 degrees.

*Chocolate flavor, because chocolate makes everything more palatable.
posted by litera scripta manet at 5:12 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

yadda yadda yadda which just goes to show that the worm shoulda stayed in bed
posted by flabdablet at 9:34 PM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

I've always been a natural night owl who could pull off the "morning person" routine when absolutely required of me, perhaps for years at a time, often feeling convinced that I really was going to like it any minute now, at one point as early as 4:45AM to work out, but like others here I feel queasy, uncomfortable, just straight-up ill early in the morning, like my body is going through a detoxification process after being still for so long (which it is, what with the sweating and pooping and whatnot) and doesn't want to take anything new in (like food or coffee) for 45-60 minutes (and a shower often feels sickly and shocking if attempted super-early), and it takes a good 30-45 minutes after that for my brain to fully engage.

If I force myself to get up early and get enough sleep, those timeframes shorten considerably but the challenge is still there, and I find that in the early morning I need at least 30 minutes worth of "lead-time" before even attempting to wake up to avoid a sort of existential malaise all day (or a goofy / loopy flip-side), which I have modified from unstructured "snooze button abuse" to actually setting and using three separate alarms on my phone with increasing levels of intensity, spaced 5-10 minutes apart each. And when I wake up early, no matter how much advance sleep I get (within the 7-8 hour range, it's rare I can push it longer than that) the time between head-hitting-pillow and the alarm going off is unjustly short. Everything just seems worse when I have to get up early.

I've noticed that my body temperature is often quite low in the early morning, like in the mid 96's or low 97's, and raises as the queasiness subsides. That's likely an effect of having an inconsistent pattern, or having an internal rhythm that would very much rather be asleep at the time that I'm awake and observing a sleeping-person's temperature on my waking self. My sleep quality is just better when I am able to sleep from 3-5 AM to 11AM or later vs. going to bed in the late "PM" hours, and it's easier for me to function on less sleep with a late pattern, which is seductive in its own right. I like waking up to a fully sunny day and having control of how much sunlight is able to come in. Like others I enjoy the quiet solitude of night and am very productive after a second wind, and tend to sabotage my "morning person" routines on the weekends, leading me to prefer a chaotic pattern that changes from week to week vs. any consistent pattern (because my job and society at large cannot easily accommodate my pattern, I phase in and out of it by necessity).

I am bipolar, introverted but largely able to play the extrovert role, with mostly unmanaged sleep apnea (I think I sleep on my stomach or side more heavily when I go to sleep completely exhausted, which is my rationalization for how I crudely treat the snoring condition that is absolutely severe if I find myself on my back) and syndrome X obesity, allergic to NSAIDS, nerdy, in an IT / devops-style career that lends itself to varied working hours. /data point /snow-bro deets
posted by aydeejones at 11:47 PM on April 12, 2015

As one of my favorite professors once said, "Early risers: arrogant in the morning, sleepy in the afternoon." Needless to say, it was a night class.
posted by cthuljew at 12:08 AM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]

During my senior year of high school, for some reason I latched on to those disgusting power bars*, mostly because I could take them in the car with me while I inevitably raced to school because I was always running late.

I had a similar but even worse thing my senior year, when I started riding in my friend's car to school rather than walking . We got breakfast at 7-11, and for many months my choice for the most important meal of the day was an Orangina and a Skor bar.
posted by Miko at 8:26 AM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

What is this "sleep" you speak of?
posted by Smedleyman at 10:02 AM on April 13, 2015

I am not actually a night owl, I just look like one because naturally I want to sleep and wakeup at least 2-4 hours later each day, and I just cycle wildly around the clock, left to my own devices.
I pretty much always go to sleep hours before i feel tired, because the day is not 28 hours long. Surprisingly, I coped kind of ok with a job where I had to be up at 6am, even though I feel like death warmed over at 7 even 8 am, because I can wake up in the *middle* of the night to say, go bathroom or eat, and feel ok as long as I am going to sleep again, and 6 was just so early it felt like the middle of the night. I would get up, put on my already laid out clothes, and be out the door with my grab and go breakfast in less than 15 minutes, then have a 'crash' as my body realised I had tricked it and wasn't going back to bed (or I fell asleep on the bus or train) but by the time I finished my 1.5hr commute, I would have actually woken up, long long after leaving the house. Everything else was on semi autopilot.

One thing that fixes the sleep cycling, is just taking 0.25mg of melatonin each night at least an hour before 'bedtime'.
I actually wake up in the morning, rather than later-than-yesterday,-regardless-of-how-much-sleep-i-got.
Better living through chemicals, it is revolutionary, I just don't often get into the habit of taking it every night.
posted by Elysum at 12:22 PM on April 13, 2015

I am a freelancer working from home, and apparently my natural time to start yawning is around sunup. Blackout curtains FTW!
posted by salix at 4:41 PM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

> I like that zone between about 4 AM and 8 AM best. No one will call you or email you with some trivial crap about the whole database having been deleted

Clearly you have never supported an enterprise database, as 4 am is prime calling time for that bullshit
posted by I am the Walrus at 6:18 AM on April 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

Imo peak on call hours for IT are like 5-8am, yea.

"Hey the Internet is down... Oh woah it's actually down for THE WHOLE BUILDING!1" or "it says the database server is down what should I do?"

I actually started just staying up until 6 on nights I knew it was likely to happen, because fuck falling asleep again after you've already slept 1-3 hours, and had to get up and get dressed and haul ass over to work and then stumble home.
posted by emptythought at 2:27 PM on April 14, 2015

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