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Are You a Night Owl?

November 4, 2016

I am most definitely NOT a night owl. I’ve always been a morning person. I wake in a good mood and my creativity runs strongest before noon. I seldom paint or write in late afternoon or evening.


Ben Franklin’s advice is sound: “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise.” Well, I’m not wealthy or wise but I do go to bed fairly early—usually around ten o’clock. In college I had a reputation as an “early crash,” and many a dorm party took place around my slumbering body. During finals week at UCLA, I needed to stay awake the night before my Shakespeare final because I hadn’t read most of the plays covered on the test, but I was asleep by eleven. Bullshit artist that I am, I still managed a “B” on the final.


During our recent trip to Puerto Vallarta I experienced a rare night of sleeplessness. The cable had been turned off at the condo so I went out on the balcony and stared at the stars and ocean until the sun came up. This was only the third time in my life I’d remained awake to see dawn break.


In 1975, Mrs. Chatterbox and I threw a New Year’s Eve party in our one bedroom apartment on the beach in Oxnard, California. We invited eighty people, never expecting them all to show up, but they did and there was hardly enough room to turn around. Mrs. C. passed out on the bed from exhaustion around two o’clock, but sleep evaded me. Our apartment was a disaster and I took it upon myself to clean up. Paper cups, empty beer bottles and full ashtrays were everywhere, including under our bed. The sink was filled with dishes, and plates of partially eaten food were strewn everywhere.


I hauled half a dozen sacks of debris to the dumpster and even vacuumed around the bed

where Mrs. C. was sleeping, without waking her. My reward for all this effort? Mrs. C. woke to an immaculate house, and she was—angry.


“It doesn’t even look like we had a party,” I remember her complaining. She doesn’t recall that party very well because of one word—chardonnay!


The second time I stayed awake all night was when our son CJ was born. There were a few complications that made his birth an all-nighter but in the end everything turned out okay, but I never closed my eyes.


My dusk to dawn sojourn on a balcony in Puerto Vallarta was only the third time I pulled an all-nighter. What about you? Do you suffer from insomnia? How many times have you stayed awake all night?







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I used to be a night owl when I was younger, esp. in college. But now I get cranky if I'm not home by 9 p.m., in bed by 10.
By: Tom Sightings on November 4, 2016
Always been a night owl. I've never liked getting up early. When I was unemployed sometimes I'd stay up until almost 5am and not get up until 1pm. One time about 15 years ago I stayed up for 24 hours for no reason other than to see if I could. About 5am I got the itch to clean things up, which helped me stay awake long enough to meet my goal. Have to admire those health professionals and such who work those really long shifts with little sleep.
By: PT Dilloway on November 4, 2016
It's been a long time since I stayed up all night. I certainly couldn't do it now. I'm hard pressed to make it until midnight on New Year's Eve. I'm not a morning person either. Guess I'm just an afternoon person.
By: Alex J. Cavanaugh on November 4, 2016
I am like you an early bedder 10 - 11pm ish and I like to rise 6is most mornings, early morning when everything is still fresh is my favourite time of the day. I did go through a period when I was sleeping 3 - 4 hours a night and that was a restless sleep to and it was killing me! Usually when my head hits the pillow I am gone for the night.
By: John Gibson on November 4, 2016
I hate morning people (in the morning) I am a night person, I should have had a night job. In college i woke up many a day just in time for dinner.
By: cranky on November 4, 2016
I'm definitely a morning person, and always have been. I love the serenity and solitude of the early morning, when the sun creeps up over the horizon and the day slowly awakens. But I can also stay up all night upon occasion, if we're doing a fun activity and enjoying good conversations. I remember once, we played cards with friends all night, and the sun was coming up as they were leaving. I had nursery room duty during the early service at church... and I made it there with no problem. Not sure if I could handle that nowadays, but I do tend to stay up way late when hanging out with family and friends, and still manage to be the first one up out of bed. Not sure if that's a blessing or a curse. :)
By: Susan Swiderski on November 4, 2016
I have almost always had insomnia...certainly since the birth of my first child. I just live with it. So much better now that I am retired.
By: Tabor on November 4, 2016
My mom was a morning person and boy did she irritate me:) I don't think I am a night owl but i do stay up later than I should-on the weekends around midnight or 1am which is a bit too late. I think the last time I did an all nighter was way over 20, maybe 30 years ago. I never felt all that good if I didn't sleep. I can sleep anywhere and have been known to fall asleep in mid sentence.
By: Birgit on November 4, 2016
Definitely a night owl! The only way I see the sun rise is if I'm later to bed than usual. Part of this is habit, now, but it started years ago when my daughter was suffering from insomnia, anxiety and panic attacks at night, and I was staying up with her. Directly on the heels of that period, my father had his stroke, and for many years I was glad to be a night owl because it allowed me to easily stay awake when he was hospitalized (the nights were the times I felt most compelled to stay with him to help him if he needed it). I need to get back to a better schedule, though, because most of the world runs on the morning lark schedule, and I feel out of synch.
By: on November 4, 2016
Forgot to put my name on that. Signed, Out of Synch :)
By: jenny_o on November 4, 2016
In a past life I worked shift work for approximately 14 years. I found it that I was my most alert between 8pm AND 4am. I despised shift work... It messes with your internal clock. As a teen I could 'party' and rebound in short order. Any attempt or leaning beyond my 6am to 12midnight messes me up.
By: Daniel LaFrance on November 4, 2016
You really cracked me up with this post, though I have my doubts about the profs at UCLA now. I'm glad you don't have an insomnia problem. I don't usually, but my sleep schedule changes a lot. I just go with the flow and when I'm tired I sleep. I rarely get more than 6 hrs these days though. Just too much to do.
By: Lexa Cain on November 4, 2016
In my college days I was definitely a night owl. But kids changed all that, and today I'm up at 5am. I actually like going out that early walking the dog as it is so quiet you could hear a pin drop. And I've learned to LOVE quiet. :)
By: scott park on November 4, 2016
When my kids were little I tried (unsuccessfully) to get their schools to run from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm instead of 9:00 am to 3:00 pm!! Does that answer your question?
By: fishducky on November 4, 2016
Younger me partied hearty but still got up early. Now I go to bed early, wake up for a while at night but still get up early with a happy face. Guess I don't need much sleep.
By: Arkansas Patti on November 4, 2016
I would prefer to be a night owl, but my work keeps me from keeping that schedule very well. Unfortunately the older I get the harder it is for me to go to bed & so I don't get enough sleep (I'm kind of like a toddler - "I don't WANNA go to bed!" but I'm making my own self suffer. SMH). I think I"ve only stayed up for the entire night one time, in college, during a retreat. It was in the mountains of NC & the sunrise was beautiful! Then I went back to the dorm & slept the rest of the day :)
By: The Bug on November 4, 2016
I have always been a night owl, but parenthood has made it tough to make it past 11. I just hate letting go of the day and I also enjoy the late night solitude being the only one up in the household.
By: mr. Shife on November 4, 2016
I used to work 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. It suited me. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on November 4, 2016
i did it once or twice in my foolish, young days. :)
By: TexWisGirl on November 4, 2016
I am a morning person and try to go to bed early. However, I have a lot of trouble getting to sleep, so I take melatonin and occasionally a sleeping pill if I'm really wired. That's my biggest problem...I can't turn my brain off!
By: Terri on November 4, 2016
On a regular basis I'm early to bed and early to rise. However I have done my share of all nighters...mostly of the party variety. the last all nighter was about 5 years ago when I had to go sleepless all night for a 9 AM medical test. I usually go to sleep right away and sleep for two hours and then stay awake for a few hours.
By: Kline on November 4, 2016
Night owl. Always have been. I can't get to sleep much before midnight or 1:00, even when I was working, and getting up at 4:50 a.m.
By: Val on November 4, 2016
Night Owl. But there was a time when I was doing morning radio I had to be up at 3:30AM...that put a crimp in my normal habits. As I age I try to get to bed a little earlier, but I like the quiet of the house at night.
By: Tom Cochrun on November 4, 2016
Being a natural born morning person, i've seldom stayed up all night, but on occasion i can and do when i must. The next day is usually not pretty.
By: messymimi on November 5, 2016
I don't often find myself unable to sleep an entire night, but it does happen and it has happened recently. Usually, I fall asleep easily, but I rarely sleep soundly through the night. And I can sometimes be dangerous to sleep next to. I tend to travel a lot!
By: Mitchell is Moving on November 5, 2016
When I was a very young and impressionable radio d.j. I befriended (briefly) one of my competitors from another station. He introduced me to uppers (diet pills from a hospital nurse he knew) and I was awake for nearly three days before I fell asleep on the air while reading a newscast. That was my first and last experience with anything stronger than No-Doz.
By: Catalyst on November 5, 2016
Interestingly, I think that with me creativity arrives at any time, but mostly early morning. Really good post, it made me think a lot about patterns. :-) Greetings from London.
By: A Cuban In London on November 5, 2016
I've stayed awake all night a number of times. When I was in Panama during my military service, I taught a friend how to play guitar over a long weekend. We were up all night one night and with a few hours sleep the next day, did a repeat the next night. The tips of his fingers were raw, but he could play every chord I knew by heart and a bunch of county and blues songs. I was worthless for days afterwards. R
By: Rick Watson on November 5, 2016
The older I get, the more I become a morning person. In my 20's and 30's, I worked a job with irregular hours - sometimes all night, sometimes all day. I don't know how I did that. On rare occasions I have trouble sleeping at night - and during those nights, I really feel for those who suffer from insomnia.
By: Pixel Peeper on November 5, 2016
When I have a gig, it starts at 8.00pm can go until 2.00am and then it takes me an hour to get all equipment down and in the car, by the time I get home I'm on too much of a high to sleep. So I often don't go to bed at all.
By: LL Cool Joe on November 7, 2016
I have always been an early bird- Oh my I would have loved to have you clean up after some of our parties! Great story as usual!
By: Kathe W. on November 9, 2016
Having Fibromyalgia, one of the really bad things about it is not being able to sleep or sleep well. I can fall asleep at 10 and I'm up at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. I've watched daylight break more times than I would like but I do still appreciate it every time.
By: Bee BB Bee on November 14, 2016

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