Posts Tagged ‘loss of sleep’

Research is now finally beginning to confirm what some of us have known since teenagerhood:  some people have an innate proclivity to go to bed late and get up late, while others are programmed to go to bed early and get up early.  One can see the evolutionary advantages to a given tribe if you have people of both types on hand:  this way, you always have someone on watch.  They say that the ‘owls’ (those who incline to stay up late and get up late) are programmed for their afternoon ‘nap’ about 2pm, while the doves are programmed to have theirs about 12:30 or 1 on average.

Speaking as a certifiable owl, one of the most horrible things about almost every job is that it forces you to get up far too early.   It has gotten a bit easier for me as I have gotten older and have required less sleep:  as a late teen (when most people require their peak amounts of sleep at up to 9 or even 10 hours) it was absolutely brutal to get up for high school, which the administrators had perversely set up so that it began earliest, while elementary school began latest.   Thus high school started at 7:20, meaning we all got up at 5am!!!, while elementary school didn’t start until 9.  I have also seen studies saying that they should reverse this order:  elementary kids tend to get up early (which I also did:  I was up at 5 and 6 when I was 6-10 years old), while high school kids really want, naturally, to stay up late and get up late (this whether you are a dove or owl – you still have tendencies to do more sleeping in and staying up at that point).

Even though I need a bit less sleep now (8 hours to be fully functional, rather than 9 as a teen), the hours that almost every job forces you to get up at are entirely inhumane.  It should definitely go into the global declaration of human rights that people have a right to enough sleep, and therefore the right not to get up at 4:30 if they want to.  These days, however, it seems that insanely early waking hours are almost entirely unavoidable. (more…)


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