Friday, March 5, 2010

Night-Owl or Early-Bird?

Most people choose to describe themselves as either a Night-Owl or an Early-Bird. I have the unique luxury of being one of a very select few who belongs to BOTH of these sub-groups! Now I guess there could be a number of sleep schedules which break from these norms, particularly depending on your work requirements? But if there is one thing that I learned in college - the BEST theories are always formulated from the least amount of data. All those pesky facts floating around just make everything so much longer and difficult to explain. So for my own selfish purposes, since I have to go to the bathroom, I shall only address the two main aforementioned bird-based sleep groups.

As a Night-Owl, I recall working third shift. It was clear that most people I encountered after the witching hour were in love with the power of the night. I assumed as soon as their work was done for the day, they would drive home to their sun-less lairs and foil-covered windows to seek precious sleep, or more likely, an O-positive bat-shake?

I was one of these night creatures. I really loved driving to work when most people were tucked away for the night. There is something excitingly beautiful about a cityscape designed for thousands of interacting humans during the day being silently vacant at night. I liked looking at the darkened business signs, endless empty aisles of stocked goods, and the chilly stillness in the air.

Now as an Early-Bird, there is also something vibrant about a city waking up? Out of the silence, the sound of the morning newspaper hitting the driveway begins the show. Then the birds start to chatter and chirp their morning dialog. A few joggers may happen by along with at least one hard-core biking enthusiast. You know the type – the bright neon green stretch pants with exposed bulging calf muscles and a form-fitting water-wicking jersey? Yeah, that guy is in every town in America.

For my parents, as they have gotten older, the morning begins with an infectious pre-dawn arrival at a favorite breakfast place. I only mention this long-standing habit because it has now apparently infected my Aunt as well? At 5:35AM, my bedside cell rings and the impossibly cheerful voice of my Aunt says “Where are we going to brekkie?”, obviously mistaking my number for that of my parents nearby. I am almost positive it was a mistake since I LIVE OVER 200 MILES AWAY from her and my folks. At best I could meet for breakfast at NOON! But I was amazingly cheerful too because not only was it great to hear her happy voice, but also I had yet to settle-in completely from a Night-Owl binge.

Therein lies the problem. If you belong to both of these groups – when do you sleep? I try to sleep a full night and I completely acknowledge the health benefits of getting good rest. But there is just so much going on and passing me by while sleeping. I pick up an hour nap here or a snoozing block there, but it is very unusual to sleep like normal people. Too bad – God knows I always strive to be Normal!

So there you have it – the mysteries revealed of the Night-Owl and Early-Bird. I would explore the topic with you at more depth, but my Vegas in-laws just called and asked me to meet them for a 99 cent casino “brekkie” special. With a deal like that, I need to pack as I have a 1500 mile drive ahead of me. If I leave now, I should be there before tomorrow’s ‘Early-Bird special’ cut-off at 8:00AM. Heaven forbid if I have to pay the full $2.99 like everyone else. What do you think I am – Normal?!

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