Friday, January 7, 2011

Hoot Hoot - Night Owls Unite!

This post has been on my mind for a long time and I thought it would be encouraging to women, like me, who have always been "night owls".  I've tried a lot to fit into the mold of the early riser but even when I did stick with rising early as I could, I found myself not getting hardly anything done.  It was like I was fighting my own body and my husband would tell me "Bev, quit fighting yourself and just go with it!"  After years of trying to fit into the mold of everyone else, I realized that I was just wired different and though others perform great in the morning, my mind and body are in high gear around evening and night-time.

When I was in the Air Force, I worked 12 hour night shifts from 7pm to 7am and it was great!  I felt like it was made for me and although I don't stay up that late, I still do my best at night.  Growing up and going to school was so difficult to me because I couldn't fall asleep until around 1am and would have to wake at 530am.  It really hindered me and I would fight sleep during the school day.

Just because the majority may perform best during the morning doesn't mean that everyone does.  I have learned that I do the most, perform the best - when I don't fight against my body.  I also perform best at 9 hours of sleep but definitely no less than 7.  Studies have shown that you must have at LEAST 7 hours of sleep to stay healthy.  That is the amount of time your body needs each night to heal properly.

Take into account my church's schedule.  We have service at a time that most school-age children go to bed. Then we don't get home a lot of times until 930-10pm.  How could I possibly put my child in public school and have her waking up before the sun even thought of coming up when she can only get to bed by about 11 or so?  Homeschool just works better for her because her age needs at least 10 hours of sleep a night.  You do the math.....most kids I know are so sleep deprived and the parents wonder why they do so poorly in school.  Also, when we return to Bible College in a few years (if that is God's will for us)......we won't get home from class and picking up our child until midnight.  So how could I possibly follow the "mold" of the "go to bed at 9 and wake up 4 or 5" crew?  I can't unless I want to not go to church at nights and forget Bible College LOL.  I could go on less sleep but that has proven to hamper your immune system, which makes you end up sickly and don't forget the grumpy part.  You hear some brag about how early they get up, it seems to be a badge of honor or something but show me what you do with it.  You don't hear a lot of bragging about "I woke up at 10am this morning!"  But.....seems like waking up at 4am is something others love to share with everyone.  Am I the only one that notices this!?

Then you will have the super spiritual person that says "Well, so and so in the Bible woke up when the sun came up".  Come on folks let's get real.  If we use that, then let's throw in the Proverbs 31 woman who burned the midnight oil ok?  Or let's say that the Bible shows MEN waking up early but women staying up late.  You could go on all day with silly stuff like that, let's just follow our best time according to our bodies.  My brain goes into high gear at night and yours may shut down then, who cares!?  Just perform at your time and I will perform at mine, amen?

So what does a night owl do that doesn't fit in the mold?  Go with it!  Since I took my husband's advice and just quit fighting my body......I can sleep at night, wake up about the same time every day and I get SO much done!  I can homeschool, keep the house clean, do crafts, blog, church activities and spend over an hour in my Bible every day and time praying.   Sure, I get the occasional look or criticism from others about how late I stay up or how late I wake up but you know what?  They need to eat their own bread lol AND if they look at how much I accomplish - they will have no room to look down on me for my sleep schedule.  I know a few friends that hide their sleep schedule from others because they are ashamed but I say don't be!  Night owls unite and its time to stand up for ourselves!

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candy said...

Ive told you that too.. to not worry about what anyone else thinks or does! :) And to do what works for you.
When your body is ready for you to be a "morning person"..dont worry, it will happen! Believe me. You dont need to force it :)
Thats why old people are all early risers and go to bed early too ..because thats what their bodies tell them. They just CANT stay up that late.
So while your young, you are able to, and it works for you. So, SO WHAT what anyone else does and thinks!
:):) Were all built differently. Thankfully. Otherwise it would be awfully boring if we were all the same and did everything exactly alike lol

Christian Homekeeper said...

Thanks for the comment ---. I wasn't saying that I struggle with this anymore, so no worries there! ;-) I was writing this post because I've seen others struggle with this and wanted to encourage them because I've been there.

Yes, we each are different and I think that is why so many have difficulty because they try and fit in the majority mold. Women tend to compare themselves and the Bible instructs against that because it only leads to competition, jealousy, envy, hatred, variance and on and on. Not to mention the depression it can bring by always comparing. I believe a lot of the depression people go through is because they aren't measuring themselves against Jesus but others. If only we would look unto Jesus and not 'Sally' and what she is doing....we would find ourselves joyful!


Anonymous said...

Hooray! Another night owl! I don't function at all if I try to do the daytime thing. And God knew this, so he paired me with my wonderful husband who is also a night owl and has a graveyard shift job. I get so much done at night and have so much energy! I'm really glad you posted this because sometimes I feel guilty about not being on a "normal" schedule. Your husband is right, don't fight it, embrace it!

Anonymous said...

I am also a night owl and we also get home at 10:30 or 11:00 from church. We do bus ministry and put up microphones and on and on with the list.

I can understand not getting up early. I don't focus on what time I get up in the morning (not nessarily) I just focus on having my priorties where they go.

So, rather I get up at 5 am or 8:30 am ( which often happens) I just try to give God first fruits, and then go with the day. This helps me stay "nice". LOL!!!

At different seasons I just accepted that it must be meant for me to get up a t 9am and go to bed late. So, that is what I did. My days went the same rather I got up at 5 am and had quiet time and did chores.

I still accomplished the same things getting up later.

Good for you accepting your make up. You go girl.

Renée said...

Excellent post! I too require a full night of sleep, and feel best with 8 to 9 hours. I am quite the opposite in terms of timing, and I am most alert from around 7am until 2pm. I used to feel embarassed about going to sleep so early! But you are so right, we must be productive when we feel our best and not worry about what others do... :)
PS - in your book post, Lysa TerKeurst's book was an excellent read.

Christian Homekeeper said...

Taylor - that is so awesome you can relate! :) I love the term "embrace" it!! I'm embracing my night owl-ism hehe.

Chrissy - That is great that you are so versatile. Thanks for sharing! :)

Renee - Never realized that those that went to bed early felt embarassed but it makes me realize that we all are so very different even when it comes to our biological clocks. I had read the excerpts and a review on Lysa TerKeust's book and it was so me so hoping the whole book is great too, thanks for sharing! :)


Crystal said...

Thanks for posting this! So awesome to read!! I am a night owl and I've struggled with getting up early for years, still do. Gives me something to think about and makes me not feel so bad about the late hours I keep (getting lots done!).
I had to laugh when you wrote about people bragging about getting up so early! I laugh when I read those types of posts of facebook or elsewhere. I often feel like saying thats great you got 2 loads of laundry done at 6 am, I got the same amount done at midnight! :)

Christian Homekeeper said...

That is great Crystal thanks for sharing! :) For years I felt bad about my schedule and then hid it from others but the past few years I was know what this is who I am. As Taylor said, let's embrace it!


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