Personal Growth

What makes a Night Owl?

By December 11, 2014 2 Comments
Reading time: 2 minutes

One of my coaching clients asked me about retraining herself from a night owl to a morning person. I’m not sure if the night owl or morning person are actual things or just labels we have put on ourselves.

As a self-proclaimed night owl, I remember a big reason for wanting to stay up late was a huge resistance to going to bed. I didn’t want to end my day, I would hang on to it as long as possible. I would feel a slight depression about ending the day because it felt like I was losing something precious.

The mornings were dreadful because I was still trying to hang on to the night before. I got too little sleep. I HAD to wake up because I was going to school or work, two things that I didn’t wanna do. At night, I was free, I could do whatever I wanted. Watch TV, play video games – and eventually creating art, drawing, making music, etc. I got in the zone at night with no distractions. It felt like ME time. Going to bed was a last resort, a thing I did when I couldn’t stay awake any longer.

When I started getting up early, making that ME time in the mornings, I started looking forward to mornings as my “cheat” method of stealing time for myself. It began to change how I viewed mornings. It no longer was something to dread, but something to look forward to. And then my nights are SO much more peaceful, I feel like I put in a good days’ work and I feel content and grateful when I go to bed now.

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I get tired earlier and I have no expectation to try to squeeze in more productivity or fun at night because I’m already happy/content most nights and going to bed feels wonderful. But then there are nights I stay up late because I am in the zone or am with friends or having fun. And I’m going with the flow and it’s spilling over after midnight. I will allow it and be grateful for it.

See also:  I'm Hosting a 30-Day Wake Up Early Challenge

If I need to sleep in, it feels like a gift rather than the same old routine of resisting the day.

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Jeff FinleyRyan Downie Recent comment authors

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Ryan Downie
Ryan Downie

Hey Jeff, I don’t think its a coined term, I believe it to be a real thing. I am naturally a night owl and I conducted my own personal tests a few years ago to see if this was real. What I basically did was to do a routine both as a Lark and as a Owl. For the Lark I would get up at 7am and go to bed at 11:30pm. I would do this for ten days and see how I faired. I always found I was groggy and energy sapped by two thirds of the day. To… Read more »

Jeff Finley

That’s a great experiment Ryan! It’s weird the working world has it’s 8-5 schedule even though a lot of us have a natural night owl tendency. Do you think the 8-5 routine is sort of a holdover from the days before we stared at bright screens all day? You know, waking when the sun came up, and getting tired and winding down as the sun went down?