By Ana Veciana-Suarez
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Ana Veciana-Suarez takes a look at sleep cycles. Her own (early bird) and those of friends and family who prefer to remain night owls.
The world is divided into two types of people: those who awaken before sunrise, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and those who stay up, and up, and up as night deepens. One group will never understand the other, and getting such disparate biological clocks to sync is a Sisyphean act, as useless as it is exhausting.
I know this perhaps better than most. I’m a true morning lark. I rarely need an alarm and even on the days I delay bedtime for a social event I awaken within minutes of 5 o’clock.
Long before most anyone is up and about, I’m prowling the house. I walk the dog, empty the dishwasher, tidy up the TV room, work out at the gym. I read. I write. On the occasional weekend day, I traipse through the darkness to my neighbor’s for a shot of cinnamon-spiked coffee and girlfriend talk. Like me, she’s always up before sunrise.
As a die-hard morning person, I was the dweeb who happily signed up for the 8 a.m. class in college, and after so many years of this habit, I treasure the quiet of those early hours. Now more than ever this is sacred space, the only time devoted to me and me alone.
It’s amazing what you witness when much of the world sleeps. I’ve spotted foxes darting across the street, heard the sonic boom of a military aircraft overhead and smelled the first gardenia blooms in spring. I also know who turns on their porch lights and who keeps their pets outside. I’ve broken up a few cat fights, too.