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“If anyone loudly blesses their neighbor early in the morning,

it will be taken as a curse.”

Proverbs 27:14

*This post not normal content for my blog.*

So often you see articles about becoming a morning person, and learning to go to bed earlier. Realistically, productivity during the day is normal and desirable. However, some people are natural night owls. Yes, natural. Our circadian rhythm or biological internal clock is longer than typical. Feel free to google search! Likewise, morning people have a shorter rhythm/clock. And some people fall in the middle with a typical rhythm.

I am clearly a natural and true night owl, since childhood. Mornings have never been good for me. Fortunately, the career I worked for 18 years allowed me to work evenings or nights. A couple summers I had to work day shift for a job – only for June, July, and part of August. It just about killed me. You would think as the summer progressed, I would have have adapted, and day shift would have become slowly easier. Right? Nope. The exact opposite happened! As the days went on, the worse it got. Total exhaustion. If the job had not reverted to evenings for the rest of the year, I would not have been able to continue it.

But the reason I write this is a defense of night people. We can be misunderstood – as lazy, and as time wasters. Or that we just refuse to adapt to a normal routine, meaning that we could become morning people, but we will not do it. Shame on us.

No to all those things – at least if we are talking about true night owls. My most productive hours have typically been between about 10pm and 2 am. With age, it has changed slightly, and it seems better for me to be in bed by about 1 – 1:30 am. But I continue to get my best sleep, where it seems truly deep and restful sleep, in the mornings. When I have to get up in the morning, that ruins my best sleep!

So…those hours late at night? We are not being lazy, stretched out on the couch watching late night TV. We are actually doing stuff and being productive! While many of YOU sleep – wasting the precious productive hours of the night through sloth. Of course, I am being funny, but you get the point. I have encountered the assumption that those who stay up late and sleep late are just lazy. (I realize that some could be lazy, but not all of us!)

I worked night shift (over night) for a few years, and could observe the different types of people on this shift. Some of us loved night shift and adapted well to it – being natural night owls. Some would come to nights, and it was clear they were natural morning people. They could not adapt even after trying – and had to find a day shift position. (Similar to how I could not adapt to days.) And some were in the middle, not quite morning or night people, and could adapt to either shift but perhaps had a tendency either way.

For that matter, some people have no understanding of night shift work. They think, after working nights, you should be up by noon or 2pm! What? After the typical night shift, you get to bed between 8 and 9 am. And you think we should be up by noon or 2pm?! If you go to bed at 10 pm, do you get up at 2 am?? I doubt it. Maybe I will start calling you at 2 am and say: “What? You aren’t up? But it is 2 am! You went to bed at 10 pm! Why are you still in bed?”  Again, I am being funny, but you get the point.

I encounter articles that emphasize getting up early in the morning for the purpose of exercise (get to the health club before work!) or for prayer and Bible reading. Start each day committed to what is important to you! Insinuation? If you don’t do this you lack true commitment or spirituality. Grrrr.

Getting up early to exercise or read the Bible? THAT would be very non-productive, as I am groggy and semi-conscious! When I belonged to a health club, I typically went in the afternoon or just before they closed in the evening. Similar for prayer and Bible reading, which I often do late at night.

As the Bible says, “If anyone loudly blesses their neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse.”  If you are a morning person, great, but please don’t expect all of us to be. Likewise, I don’t expect everyone to be a night owl.

Be thankful that some people are natural night owls and can work night shift in an alert and productive manner! Aren’t you glad that health care workers, police officers, and fire fighters are there for you all hours of the night?

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