Night Owls are normal, dammit

Insomnia

I’ve battled insomnia for over a decade, now. It’s annoying (for all the reasons, but especially) because I was a good sleeper for the majority of my life.

  • As a baby, my parents could vacuum during my naps. As a toddler, I could sleep at rowdy basketball games.
  • In high school, I once slept on the floor of a bus. (It was a charter and way less gross than a yellow-dog, and I know I had a pillow and maybe I had a blanket down…but yes, the floor).
  • In college, I slept through false fire alarms and even a massive hurricane.

E is a marathon sleeper if the environment is good. He can sleep for 20+ hours straight. I’ve seen it. But he’s a light sleeper, so he wakes up about 777 times per night.

Night Owls are normal

50% of humans are Night Owls. The other 50% are Morning Larks. This is nature. It’s how we naturally protect our tribes and villages. If we didn’t have Night Owls, we wouldn’t have 24-hour services like Emergency Rooms, Fire/EMS, overnight shipping, Wafflehouse, suicide hotlines, electricity in the wee hours, etc.. All Hail the Night Owls and their critical services to our world.

Morning Larks are intolerant

Unrelated to insomnia, one of my doctors wants me to get up “with the sun” (sort of) to balance out my cortisol. While I don’t disagree with the general need, I don’t see how getting up earlier than my norm makes the difference. We didn’t retire so we could continue to set alarms and get up early! She literally defined “consistent” as “early”.

I know that “words are hard”, but words also have meanings. “Consistent” is not necessarily “early”.

She’s clearly a Morning Lark, and in their usual fashion, she harps on others to be that, too. She wants me to get “consistent” sleep. Um, a bedtime of 12-2am and waking 8-10am is consistent.

The only problems I have is when I can’t sleep until 2 but still wake up at 8. Midnight-8 (or 2-10am) is still 8 hours, just like 10p-6a is. I also have to be able to sleep at my acupuncture appointments.

I am trying a couple of the things she “prescribed” me. (I didn’t buy the $40 Magnesium.) I’m also trying to open the shades when I do get up and make sure I’m exposed to some of that sun. I’ll meet her half way.

Humane humans make compromises, and are tolerant, open, and affirming.

I’ve been a Night Owl my entire life. That’s not likely to change because some intolerant Morning Lark thinks I (and others) need to be like her.

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