Colin McEnroe Show: Night Owls And Morning Larks

Does early to bed, early to rise, really make us healthy, wealthy and wise?

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Do pigs dream of muddy sheep?
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Two early birds soak up the morning sun.
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Sleepy otter.
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Goodnight, Mr. Owl.
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Lovebirds on a crisp morning.
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A sleeping feather duster.
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Colin McEnroe Show: Night Owls And Morning Larks
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Colin McEnroe Show: Night Owls And Morning Larks

For much of my adult life, I was part of The Cult of Early Risers.

If you are one, you probably know some of the other ones in your town. In West Hartford, we are the ones standing in the dark on winter mornings waiting for something to open -- the reservoir gates, the bagel store, the town indoor pool. We've already been up an hour. It's 6 a.m. already! Where is everybody?
 
But I'm what is called -- in the world of chronotypes -- an intermediate. I can shift back and forth. I get up later these days, and when I worked nights as a young newspaper reporter, that was fine.
 
Not everybody is so flexible, and the people who are -- at the genetic level -- forever and unchangeably larks, really suffer in a schedule that asks for peak performance in the evenings. And the same is true for owls forced to do their best hooting in the morning. What can be done?
 
You can join the conversation. Are you a night owl or a morning lark? Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.
 
***This episode was produced with help from Jonathan McNicol and originally broadcast on July, 15, 2010.***

  

Comments

Thank you Chion.

Thank you Chion.

Patrick, i like the

Patrick, i like the slideshow! And hey, will you tell Paul that his comment would have made a really great Last Word?

E-mail from Joan

I listened to your program with great interest because I've been a night owl from birth--if I can believe my mom. She's a morning person and she told me that from the time she took me home from the hospital I would not want to go to sleep early and would lie in my crib alert at night and would sleep through the night, not arising on my own until about 10am. She would get up at 5am and would be ready for a nap by the time I got up.

In my own memory, there have always been two things that I hate to do each day--go to bed and get up. Now that I'm retired, I can go to sleep when I want, usually one or two in the morning, and usually don't awaken until nine or ten on my own.

E-mail from Jim

I, like you, am definitely a lark. I'm up by 4:30 a.m., and by 6. I've already done my barn chores and my cardio workout for the day. (On weekends, if I stay in bed later, I simply lie there, wide awake and bored.) And yes, I DO hit a wall about 8 p.m. at night, UNLESS I'm out with friends, which is different than being IN with friends. What I mean by that is, if I'm out of my house - in somebody else's house or in a restaurant, bar, theater, etc., I can stay awake and alert (and enjoying it) until the wee hours of the morning. However, if I have over to my house, I'm ready for bed by 9.
Is this unusual?
Also, is there a bird that rises around ten o'clock and then sacks out around 8? If so, that's my wife.

E-mail from Paul

I am not sure if I am an owl or a Lark.
One thing is for sure, every weekday at 1PM I have the uncontrollable urge to fall asleep. :>)