I had to be at a meeting at 8am recently. This caused no small amount of anxiety in me. The night before, I laid out my clothes, set my coffeemaker, made sure my bag was packed, made sure I knew where my keys and phone were and took a Unisom.
I was on time. But I sat in a corner with my coffee and glared at everyone.
I’ve been a night person since birth. When I was a toddler, I’d happily sit on my mom’s lap all night while she studied for her college exams. I hate getting up early. By early, I mean before noon. I almost didn’t graduate from high school because I was late every. single. day. I took all night classes in college. My normal bedtime as an adult is around 1am. And it’s grudging. I get up at 7am every day and drive my husband to work. I communicate entirely by blinking and pointing.
As an added bonus, I’m also a lucid dreamer. I sleep like a minute a night. Good times!
In my search for information about night owls, I came across an article at WebMD: Why You’re an Early Bird or a Night Owl.
And I quote:
Besides the obvious problems with being a night owl if you have a day job, “night owls tend to be more depressed, have a higher dependence on caffeine, and use alcohol more,” Sharkey says. But the news isn’t all bad. A recent study in Belgium found that night owls are able to stay more focused as the day goes on, compared with early risers.
Morning people, however, also have advantages. “Larks generally sleep better, have more regular sleep patterns, and have more flexible personalities,” Sharkey says. They also tend to be happier and feel healthier than night owls, according to a recent study from the University of Toronto.
Yeah, morning people sleep better and feel healthier! The whole world is built around them! Of course I am more depressed and drink more caffeine and booze, I’m tired ALL THE TIME. I’d like to make some of these happy little morning larks keep to a 6am to 2pm sleep schedule- see how “flexible” and “healthy” they feel after that? [grumble, grumble.]
Curious about what happens when you sleep? Because it’s crazy!
The Secret Life of Sleep, Kat Duff
It has become increasingly clear that our sleep shapes who we are as much as, if not more than, we shape it. While most sleep research hasn’t ventured far beyond research labs and treatment clinics, The Secret Life of Sleep taps into the enormous reservoir of human experiences to illuminate the complexities of a world where sleep has become a dwindling resource. With a sense of infectious curiosity, award winning author Kat Duff mixes cutting-edge research with insightful narratives, surprising insights, and timely questions to help us better understand what we’re losing before it’s too late. The Secret Life of Sleep tackles the full breadth of what sleep means to people the world over. Embark on an exploration of what lies behind and beyond our eyelids when we surrender to the secret life of sleep.
The Secret World of Sleep: The Surprising Science of the Mind at Rest, Penelope A. Lewis
In recent years neuroscientists have uncovered the countless ways our brain trips us up in day-to-day life, from its propensity toward irrational thought to how our intuitions deceive us. The latest research on sleep, however, points in the opposite direction. Where old wives tales have long advised to “sleep on a problem,” today scientists are discovering the truth behind these folk sayings, and how the busy brain radically improves our minds through sleep and dreams. In The Secret World of Sleep, neuroscientist Penny Lewis explores the latest research into the nighttime brain to understand the real benefits of sleep. This is a fascinating exploration of one of the most surprising corners of neuroscience that shows how science may be able to harness the power of sleep to improve learning, health and more.
The Secret History of Dreaming, Robert Moss
What do the first major oil discovery in Kuwait, Mark Twain’s fiction and Harriet Tubman’s success conducting slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad have in common? They were all experienced first in dreams. Robert Moss traces the strands of dreams through archival records and well-known writings, weaving remarkable yet true accounts of historical figures influenced by their dreams. With eloquent prose, Moss describes beautiful Lucrecia de Leon, whose dreams were prized by powerful men in Madrid and then recorded during the Spanish Inquisition. The Secret History of Dreaming addresses the central importance of dreams and imagination as secret engines in the history of all things human, from literature to quantum physics, from religion to psychology, from war to healing.
Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep, David K. Randall
Like many of us, journalist David K. Randall never gave sleep much thought. That is, until he began sleepwalking. One midnight crash into a hallway wall sent him on an investigation into the strange science of sleep. In Dreamland, Randall explores the research that is investigating those dark hours that make up nearly a third of our lives. Taking readers from military battlefields to children’s bedrooms, Dreamland shows that sleep isn’t as simple as it seems.
Go The F**k To Sleep, Adam Mansbach
Go the F**k to Sleep challenges stereotypes, opens up prototypes, and acknowledges that shared sense of failure that comes to all parents who weary of ever getting their darling(s) to sleep and briefly resuming the illusion of a life of their own. Go the F**k to Sleep is a bedtime book for parents who live in the real world, where a few snoozing kitties and cutesy rhymes don’t always send a toddler sailing blissfully off to dreamland. Profane, affectionate and radically honest, California Book Award-winning author Adam Mansbach’s verses perfectly capture the familiar – and unspoken – tribulations of putting your little angel down for the night. In the process, they open up a conversation about parenting, granting us permission to admit our frustrations and laugh at their absurdity.
Hear Samuel L. Jackson read it. (NSFW!)