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Good morning, night owl

I’m a confirmed night owl, but my boys’ new swim schedule is going to clip my wings. I’m not even sure an early riser would be happy getting up before four o’clock. Ugh.

The solution is easy right? Go to bed at nine. Or earlier. But here’s the thing about a night person. Nine is when the second wind kicks in. The ideas start flowing, the energy comes back, and suddenly the thought of going to bed is untenable.

I’d be missing out on valuable, productive hours.

I sometimes wish the world operated on my schedule so I didn’t have to shoehorn myself into working—and waking—hours that don’t fit my natural rhythm. I spent plenty of my working life at jobs that started at seven or earlier. I spent seven weeks at Officer Training rising at oh-dark-early for PT.

Occasionally, I even choose to get up at some ungodly hour to work out before a full day, but I don’t think I’ll ever like it.

I’d love to be a disciplined early riser like Thomas Jefferson, though I’d skip the icy foot bath. I love being up in the morning. The soft light of dawn, the cool air, the quiet. My brain even fires on all cylinders quite nicely until fatigue sets in and my brain screams, “Nap!”

It’s getting up early I have a problem with.

But, like it or not, four days a week for the next eleven months, I’m going to have to embrace getting up well before the sun. And then repeat for the next four years.


How about you? Night owl or lark?

Photo credit: OWL © Pdiaz |

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  1. Reply

    HAH, I’m a morning person who has adapted to night owl tendencies….who needs to go BACK to being a morning person. I feel for you. And completely agree with you….and oh hell, I should be asleep NOW. 😉

  2. Reply

    Wow. Do I feel your pain, Gwen. I’ve been a night owl since as far back as I can remember. Over the years I’ve had to do my fair share of getting out of bed early. Fortunately, nowadays, with the kids grown and a day job where I telecommute, I can start work when I want to and I can write late because that’s when I do it the best 🙂

    Best of luck transitioning to “morning” person …

    • Reply

      It’s always good to know I’m not alone, Dave. Summer spoiled me. Someday, when my kids are grown (or at least driving!), maybe I can enjoy the night owl writer’s lifestyle. 😉

  3. Curtis


    I thought Norma wrote this post. ” Nine is when the second wind kicks in.” She/We can fly till at least 3:00 AM.

    I’m goofy though. I want it both ways. I’ve generally accepted sleep from 2:00 -6:30, no later than 7:00. But, my body has less interest in playing that game any more. Booooo.

    Sleeping has always been one of the things I’ve enjoyed the least. I was always afraid I might miss something. Or, maybe I can blame it on my grandmother. Her big question, ” Are you going to sleep your life away.” Not me!

    P.S. Norma and I are on a first name basis with the late night security guy here in our town. We have this strange habit of deciding to go eat at mid-night. Then on the way home we will just stop and chat. What we have learned from him– He knows everything that goes on in this town. I mean everyting.

    O.K. It’s ll:45 p.m. here. The night is but a pup.

  4. Reply

    Curtis: I hate how much I like to sleep! I don’t want to sleep my life away, but boy do I need it. I just don’t like it on the sun’s schedule. (Which sucks really, because I’d love to get as much daylight as possible.)

    If I could change my natural sleep cycle, I’d be a morning person in a heartbeat, but even when I stick to a 10p-6a schedule, my body’s not really happy.

    The late-night food runs and security chats sound like fun!

  5. Reply

    Night owl. My most productive time is 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. Sadly, family life precludes me actually being up at those hours most of the time, unless I’m pushing on a deadline. It’s going to be at least 15 more years before I can switch back to staying up late. By that time, my body may be resigned to morning hours — not happy, but adapted.

    • Reply

      “Not happy, but adapted” is a good way to put it, Erin. Since I don’t work full time anymore, it’s the family’s schedule that messes with my preferred hours now too. Summer got me back into my late-night ways and now I’m paying for it!

      I don’t envy you your 15 years to go, though. Five more and I’m free. Two if I decide to let my oldest drive. Maybe I’ll even let him take my car… 😉

  6. Reply

    I used to call myself a “middle-of-the-day” person. LOL

    Since beginning my writing career, I function on 6 hours sleep per night. I have a dayjob, take care of kids after school, and then become Romance Writer from 7-11. I wouldn’t trade that time for anything, not even more sleep.

    Good luck with your new schedule. Can you write when you’re out?

    • Reply

      I like that, Jolyse. Before I started writing, if I didn’t have to be anywhere the next day–or sometimes if I did–I would usually go to bed between about 11-12:30. Lately, though, I’m often up much later, especially if I’m on a roll, or stuck in a good book.

      I can write when I’m out as long as it’s not too loud. I’m going to have to put my headphones in, though, otherwise I’ll get sucked into conversation with the other swim moms. Not always bad, but last time I didn’t get anything done. Next week my rec center pass will be good again and I can work out while they swim, so at least I’ll have that out of the way.

  7. Reply

    I, too, feel your pain. I have always been a night owl. And I must say, the line about wishing the world conformed to the night owl’s schedule really resonated with me. So many people don’t get that it’s not about staying up late just for the heck of it. That’s when I feel most awake, even if I went to bed early the night before and got up early in the morning – I’m still good to go come eleven or twelve at night.

    Anyway, good luck with your new schedule. I’m sure you’ll make it work somehow. 🙂

  8. Reply

    Thanks, Maura. It’s so true. I can be dragging all day, but around nine or so I perk up, no matter what. In fact, I should be in bed now… 🙁

  9. Reply

    I am so the traditional morning person. All through high school and college I would be up with the sun (though I will say that getting up before the sun sucks pretty bad). This actually stayed my practice until I met my husband 4 years ago. He’s a night owl, and we’ve both adjusted to have more waking time together. I love spending time with him in the evenings, but often wish I could have my morning back. I loved getting up at 5:30 or 6 without an alarm, and having an hour or two to myself before it was time to get ready for the day.

    Maybe since your schedule will be forced by necessity, you’ll adapt to your morning hours and see a shift in your productive times.

    • Reply

      Kali: I envy you! I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who woke early to enjoy the day. I love morning. Maybe after years of this I won’t even remember what it’s like to stay up late, but I’m not holding my breath. 😉

  10. Curtis


    Dwight’s gospel showed up in my mail box today.

    Looks like a good reason for another late nighter. —- And, Norma spotted a brand new Huddle House just after she pulled off I-16 heading back here to the boonies. We need to go while the grease is fresh. Tonight. Tonight.

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