Not a Lark

I know that moving 7 time zones takes some getting used to. I read and was advised that for each time zone you move, it takes 1 to 2 days to get adjusted. On the short end it could have taken a week to get used to being almost a working shift ahead of Florida, but at the longest 2 weeks.

It’s been a month and I am still not sleeping on what most people would consider a “normal” schedule. I’m not falling asleep until 4am or 5am and I don’t wake up until noon or 1pm. Some days I’m up for 23 hours and then I sleep for 3 or 4 hours, waking around noon or so. On those days I’m tired most of the day, but still can’t fall asleep before midnight or 1am.

I started doing some research on circadian rhythms and sleeping patterns. There are apparently three types of people: Larks, hummingbirds, and owls. Owls, more commonly known as “night owls,” are those who prefer to stay up past midnight and sleep in later. About 2 in 10 people are owls. Larks are the “morning people” – those who like to go to sleep early and wake up early. About 1 in 10 people is a lark. Hummingbirds are everything in between.

I don’t understand larks, not even a little bit. Since high school I have hated waking up in the morning. When in school or working a “normal” day job, I woke up as late as possible and rushed to get out of the house. I don’t drink coffee or read the paper,  and breakfast was usually eaten on the way to or at work.

But, I can wake up in the morning if I have to for work, appointments, etc. Right now I don’t have to. There is rarely a day that I have to be up before 4pm. I do wake up before then, but I don’t have a need to.

People have told me that there are health benefits to rising early, but I can’t find anything anywhere that supports that. I’ve read that there are all sorts of other benefits to rising early. I’ve also read that morning people are happier than night owls. That makes sense to me. If you take someone who goes to bed later and force them to get up in the morning, before they’re ready to be awake, and then subject them to people who are super excited about the new day, you’re bound to get some unhappy people. People who are chipper in the morning make me twitchy.

What I’m trying to figure out is whether I should be pushing myself to get up in the morning and do stuff. Doing something because I should without a good reason behind it is idiotic to me and I can’t make myself wake up for that. I just don’t know if it’s a sign that I lack discipline and if that should be the reason I force myself to become conscious before noon. Things like “seeing the sun rise,” “greeting the day,” and “luxuriating over breakfast” are not valid reasons to me. Also, I can see the sun rise too, just before I go to bed.