Do “Morning People” Really Exist?

pc: AIMare on Wikimedia Creative Commons

Is there really such thing as a morning person? Every time somebody tells me they're a morning person, my first thought is “do you set an alarm?” and secondly “do you drink coffee (or do cocaine)?” if you do either than you're not a morning person in my opinion.

I don't actually believe that being a morning person is a real thing. You may enjoy being up early and getting stuff done before everybody else, but I don't believe it's natural. I do get that nature intended for us to be awake during the day because that’s when we would hunt and gather, but I think we’ve evolved beyond that point.

Say you got a hundred people together for a study and said “We're going to have you sleep when you want to and not set an alarm to wake up. You don't have to do anything while you’re here, you just have to be here.” Granted they would have things to keep them entertained, but for the most part it’d be like The Real World house. After the first week, after the sleep cycle they were previously on is broken, I want to see what time they would wake up. Maybe it's just me, maybe I'm not a morning person, but I just don't believe that they would still wake up at 5 a.m.. I just don't.

I've done a lot of research on ways to become the “best version of yourself” and one of the principles that rings the wrong way with me is that if you don't wake up early you won't be successful. Really, what I think they're preaching is not that you wake up early, it's that you lose sleep-- and don't get me started on sleep deprivation...

In my experience (and I'm not saying I'm proud that I know this) but I think driving sleep-deprived is worse than driving drunk. Just a disclaimer, I don't advise doing either of these things.

And the early morning advocates will say “Well, what if you wake up at 10 a.m. and the other the other guy wakes up at 5 a.m. and he got to your client before you did and he closed the deal because of that?” Hold on. Clients? What if I'm not in the nine-to-five corporate world? And if that's your logic, why don’t you just take care of everything the night before? Then you’re about twelve hours ahead of the other guy anyway.

In my opinion, it's not when you start your day it's what you do with your day. If you disagree that's fine, but here's the thing. For six months, I set my alarm to wake up at 8 a.m. every morning while I was writing a set of five scripts. I would wake up and it was fine after a while, but I don’t know that it was any different than me waking up at 9 or 10 a.m. because I was still getting the same amount of sleep that I used to.

If you are a real, legitimate, “I’m up at 5 a.m.even if I don't set my alarm” morning person, that's great. More power to you. In fact, I want to hear from a morning person who doesn't set an alarm and who blocks out the sun when they sleep. And by the way, I think that’s the only way to know you're sleeping until you're not tired anymore. The sun can wake you up so I consider that cheating a little bit if you let yourself be woken up by light.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know. My opinion is, wake up when you want and do the most with the time you have in between. A well rested human working on a project for five hours is probably going to produce higher quality results than a sleep-deprived human working for eight if you ask me...