Of all the arguments I have with Mrs G (which are not that many) the topic of complaint that crops up most often is going to bed. We have similar tastes in food and TV, we have a set of ethics and morals that are well aligned, we like doing the same things. Get us in the bedroom though late at night and it becomes a battlezone.
The main issue is that my wanting to turn the lights off pre-11pm means that I’m not a night owl like my wife. This is patently nonsense, I’m as much a night owl as the next red-eyed fellow, as my issue with going to sleep is not related to my personal preference for a bedtime but to pure biology.
My morning alarm call is dictated by what time we need to go to work, for us this means leaving the house at 7am, so there is the whole morning routine to complete. I have tried to make it as efficient as possible by preparing the morning coffee the night before, having lunches ready and not caring what I wear and just grabbing anything from the wardrobe. To give myself that little more time I even skip breakfast until I am at my desk so I can have a few more minutes.
It still doesn’t seem enough.
I have managed to get the process down to 35 minutes, and that is both for me and The Feliciraptor to be ready (heaven knows what it will be like if we through another child in the mix). Still I don’t feel like I sleep long enough and all I’m longing for are seven hours.
This means we cannot stay up late, and because it is my desire to be rested it is I who is not the Night Owl. Yet I am, I’m just a Night Owl who doesn’t like being tired.
When I was younger I could easily stay up till 3am and this was in a pre-internet and 24 hour world. Now you can watch Netflix at 2am but I used to live on a diet of late night TV and Ceefax. I used to be able to stay up late because I didn’t start work until 3pm, I could go to bed and not wake up till lunch. It may have been because had less responsibility but this was certainly a period of my life when I felt the most rested.
If I could sleep till 10am now then I’d be fine living the late night lifestyle, but being a grown up seems to mean you have to be an Early Bird. The world seems to revolve around starting at 9am for some reason. Perhaps it’s a legacy of our agrarian past (although they have a stupid early start) but the crack of dawn seems to signal the beginning of a new day. I’m on a train at te moment and looking at the faces of my fellow commuters I think I’m not alone when I say, we are not ready for this.
Now we have electricity and lights which mean we can shift our times to be a Night Owl society, so there may be complaints about the lack of sunlight we would get but I have been in plenty of offices where having an hour in the morning to have breakfast in the daylight would mean an extra sixty minutes of Vitamin D.
Cities now come alive at night, they shake of the drab grey of the concrete and flicker to a multitude of coloured lights. They are more awake and vibrant. So am I, if only I could convince Mrs G of that…
…and also to turn off the bedroom light.
Are you a night owl or are you the early bird? What’s your most productive time of day? When do you do your best work?
Source: Because the Night