Good Morning! How’d Y’all Sleep?
Good morning! I’m taking over the first post of the day for the next week while Mike is on travel. This will no doubt be sad news to the people who run the Mike Dang Fan Tumblr, but he’ll be back soon.
While we’re on the subject of mornings, how are y’all doing? I’m still asleep, actually. I mean, not right now, when I’m writing this, but right now, when you’re reading this. I’m on Pacific Time, which means that 9 a.m. for The Billfold is 6 a.m. for Nicole.
I used to get up earlier. When I had my office job, I woke up at 5:45 every morning and went to a yoga class before going to work. That meant I needed to try and be in bed, asleep, by 10 p.m. every night. I’m much happier now that I get to go to bed around midnight-thirty and wake up around 8 a.m. Every time I’ve gotten to set my own sleep schedule, I’ve pretty much gravitated towards those times.
I read a piece in The Atlantic yesterday, by which I mean today, when I’m writing this, but also yesterday, when you’re reading this, about how scientists have discovered two new sleep schedules and their effects on productivity.
These scientists, who work for the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, note that it’s not so much when “larks” and “owls” wake up and go to bed that gives them their distinctive chronotype; it’s when they’re most productive. Larks wake up earlier than owls, but they’re also more energetic in the mornings than they are in the evenings—and vice versa.
The remaining two types of people are people who feel energetic in the mornings and in the evenings, and people who feel exhausted all day, no matter when they wake up or sleep.
Both the lethargic and energetic participants went to bed and woke up somewhere between the owl and lark times. The energetic people slept about a half-hour less overall than the other three groups, netting about 7.5 hours of sleep each night.
That 7.5 number is pretty interesting, because I consistently wake up 7.5 hours after I go to sleep. I’m also one of those people who prefers the mornings and evenings as work times, even though I will push myself through the slog of the afternoon.
But what about you? Do you feel like your sleep schedule lines up with your ideal energy schedule? If you feel tired all day, do you think it’s because you’re not sleeping and waking at the optimum times for your body, or do you think it’s because you’re that new fourth chronotype who will always be just a little bit tired?
And when you’re left to your own devices, when do you fall asleep and when do you wake up?
Photo credit: Musée de l’horlogerie