Why You Shouldn’t Feel Bad About Being A Night Owl
Did your parents ever tell you that you needed to go to bed earlier? For as long as I can remember, my parents have been trying to get me to go to sleep before I was really ready. Despite their best efforts, I still stay up far later than they would like. However, I don’t really feel all that guilty about it anymore for a couple of reasons, and neither should you.
First, different people have different circadian rhythms, which are biological processes that occur in 24 hour cycles, such as sleep. Consequently, many people have a genetic predisposition to stay up late and then sleep in, while others are naturally inclined to go to sleep early and then rise at more socially acceptable times than their late sleeping brethren. I am certainly among the former group.
My genetic predisposition to stay up late causes me to be more alert in the evening than others might be. Instead of getting sleepy, my body is ready to continue working until hours after my parents have drifted off. Although humans can consciously override their circadian rhythms to an extent, they are going against what their body wants and needs when they do so.
Second, people who stay up later tend to be more intelligent. Researchers have discovered that there is a correlation between IQ and when people go to bed. People who go to bed early tend to have lower IQ scores, while those who stay up late tend to have the highest IQs.
If you’ve ever felt guilty about being a night owl, you shouldn’t have. Our biology predisposes us to sleep and rise at certain times, and luckily for me, night owls tend to be more intelligent. I used to feel guilty for staying up so late, but now I utilize those late hours to be more productive. All it took was a change of perspective.