Any reformed night owls that have become larks?

posted
20-Jan-14, 15:11
by BevCha
Avatar for BevCha
posted about 5 years ago
Hi guys,

A bit off topic but as you can guess from title I am an owl - a great big owl! BUT I so want to be a lark so I wondered if anyone has managed to switch from owl to lark successfully?

I think I am at the extreme and of owlery as I could happily stay up to 4-5am and sleep until 12 but I want to be seen bright eyed and bushy tailed around the dept? I know its unfair on us owls as we work the same but at different times but we all know that owls are frowned upon whereas the larks are not!

any advice greatly appreciated!

Bevcha xx
posted
20-Jan-14, 15:30
edited about 24 seconds later
Avatar for HazyJane
posted about 5 years ago
No idea if this has any validity to it, but it suggests it might not be easy to switch:
As for me, I'm another owl. There's something that seems more virtuous about being a lark, but it just doesn't work for me.
posted
21-Jan-14, 08:58
edited about 17 seconds later
Avatar for wanderingbit
posted about 5 years ago
Here one more owl desperately trying to turn into a lark..In these months just trying to force myself to wake up 'on time' (meaning: alarm clock at about 6:45-7:00, a second one at 7:15 and hopefully I'm up at 7:20-7:30!!) independently from when I go to sleep..

My hope: making myself tired enough to convince my body to fall asleep sooner in the evening. So far I'm only turning into a zombie though..no larks on the horizon..exhausted from early morning till evening, but still unable to discipline myself to go to sleep before midnight!

...I'd be very happy to hear about other experiences with this issues!

xxx
wanderingbit
posted
21-Jan-14, 11:16
by Frisbee
Avatar for Frisbee
posted about 5 years ago
Total night owl too, making it very hard to be motivated in the day after forcing myself to get up early after a late night. I find exercise helps me go to sleep earlier but I rarely have time for it whilst doing a PhD
posted
21-Jan-14, 12:46
edited about 1 second later
by BevCha
Avatar for BevCha
posted about 5 years ago
Hi guys,

Thanks for all your replies, glad I'm not the only one! I find it so annoying that for all we do as much work as the early birds we are frowned upon for not being sparky at nine am!

I put alarms on other side of room, I even have a coffee machine on a timer in my bedroom to go off at 7.30 and I still look and feel like the walking dead.

Interesting though how when the early birds knock off at 5-5.30 us night hoots don't frown at them in a 'oh you are off early aren't you?' probably because they will (and rightly) say 'I was here at 8 though' :D
I think its the one sidedness that gets me! :D

Hats off to all early birdies though!
posted
21-Jan-14, 17:59
edited about 8 seconds later
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 5 years ago
I've read some research on this (somewhere) and it does suggest it's difficult for people to switch, however, based on my own anecdotal evidence I don't think that this is the case.

I quite often go from going to sleep at 1 or 2 am and getting up at 8 or 9 am for a few weeks and then switch to going to bed at 10 or 11 and getting up at 6 or 7 am. This usually happens during holiday time when I tend to go to bed later and later and then when I go back to uni I have to start getting up earlier again.

Since moving to the US however, I've managed to make this switch permanent and I'm always asleep by 11 at the latest (and often 9 or 10) and I"m awake between 6 and 7 am every day, even on the weekends. It's like getting a lie in every day because I get the right amount of sleep every day and I can't stay asleep longer. I think the key is not using an alarm, because that way I finish a normal 90 minute sleep cycle and wake up feeling refreshed and I'm very rarely tired during the day. I am also asleep within 15 - 30 minutes of going to bed at night.

I intend to keep this up when I return to the UK because I never want to get up with an alarm ever again! (Well, except when I have a meeting/need to catch a flight etc).
posted
21-Jan-14, 19:13
Avatar for littleowl
posted about 5 years ago
Another owl here - as the username would suggest!

I really relate to others here. Until a couple of years ago I managed to both stay up very late and get up reasonably early, but I can't seem to get away with that any more. Left to my own natural devices (pretty much how it's been for the past year as I've just been writing up at home with only occasional visits to uni and no teaching commitments) I wake up around 9-9:30 and stay awake until 1 or 2 am, usually working until quite late - although I find it important to have some "down time" after stopping work, even if only half an hour, otherwise I can't switch off when I go to bed.

Needless to say, that doesn't work if I have an appointment or meeting at 9! The problem is that while I'm used to staying up very late, I now can't also get up early and expect to be able to function. If I am to get up earlier, I need to have a decent amount of sleep, which means going to bed before midnight - and I am almost never tired before midnight, so I find it hard to get to sleep, etc.

I've heard that contact with screens (computers, TVs, tablets, mobiles etc.) should be avoided for at least a couple of hours before bed. Easier said than done for a PhD though!
posted
21-Jan-14, 20:29
Avatar for AislingB
posted about 5 years ago
Quote From BevCha:


we all know that owls are frowned upon whereas the larks are not!



Sorry I can't offer any advice on this but I can give a lark's perspective - I often get to work at 8am or even earlier but I feel colleagues look at me disapprovingly if I leave before 5pm. They don't know that I'd already done half a day's work before some of them arrived. I often think owls are seen as hard working because they can be seen still hard at work when everyone else is leaving. No-one sees us larks being super-productive at 8am!
posted
21-Jan-14, 20:36
edited about 6 seconds later
by BevCha
Avatar for BevCha
posted about 5 years ago
Hi AislingB - thanks for your reply :) its nice to hear the other perspective! Apologies on behalf of all owls - you shouldn't be frowned at for leaving at 5 when you are there at 8! *hoots angrily at those owls!*
posted
21-Jan-14, 21:49
edited about 2 minutes later
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 5 years ago
Quote From littleowl:


I've heard that contact with screens (computers, TVs, tablets, mobiles etc.) should be avoided for at least a couple of hours before bed. Easier said than done for a PhD though!


This is true for me. I don't watch TV or use a computer after 8pm, except on weekends when I don't mind staying up later.
posted
22-Jan-14, 02:17
edited about 8 seconds later
by Fled
Avatar for Fled
posted about 5 years ago
Transitioned from owl to lark between my M.Sc. and PhD. For the simple reason that from 3AM to 6AM I am 100% guaranteed to get interrupted research done. So if I have a good day, great I get more done than the average person. If I have one of those "end of the world days", I can still sleep soundly knowing that I was productive for at least 3 hours before all hell broke loose.
posted
22-Jan-14, 19:17
edited about 20 seconds later
Avatar for AislingB
posted about 5 years ago
Hi BevCha, Thanks for your support :-) Maybe we're all just a bit paranoid imagining other people disapproving of us for the hours we keep. In the end everyone knows who works and hard and who doesn't.

Fled - I'm full of admiration for your ability to start work at 3am but what time do you go to bed??
posted
29-Apr-18, 01:45
by veeman
Avatar for veeman
posted about 1 year ago
Really reassuring to read these posts. As a night owl who wishes he could be a lark it's tough to 'allow' the owliness to continue. I've had many botched attempts to transition but with less than a year of PhD time to go (or at least, that's the plan), I think I need to embrace it.

For me, at this stage, it doesn't feel like the right time to add an extra layer of complexity to what will be a difficult year by trying to make too many changes. I do wonder how it will pan out if/when I have a new position that is less flexible, but for right now I'm sticking with what I know - which is that inner peace seems to descend upon me around 10pm and the fog lifts. Anyone else in the same boat atm? Camaraderie needed! :)
posted
01-May-18, 08:08
Avatar for kenziebob
posted about 1 year ago
Hi veeman,

I am. My roommate knows that I seem to really "wake up" at around 10pm, and I can quite happily stay up until 2 or 3am. I love that feeling of knowing that most other people are asleep - as an introvert it is very freeing for me.

Luckily my PhD is quite flexible in terms of timings, but I do tend to set an 'emergency' alarm for about 10 or 11am, just so that I don't sleep the day away. Apart from that I wake up naturally - but it is very easy for me to stay asleep until 4pm if I don't have that alarm.
posted
01-May-18, 11:40
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 1 year ago
The owl pattern will stop when you get a job which requires you to be in the office by 9am or when you have a baby or get a dog.
For now, I wouldn't worry about it and just go with whatever helps you be productive.

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