There are many variations of the saying, “the early bird catches the worm” and the common folk knowledge from Benjamin Franklin says that “early to bed and early to rise makes a man happy, healthy, and wise”. The fact of the matter is, early risers or “morning people” have always been labelled as the productive and successful ones and night owls are often associated with people who are lazy or have health issues such as insomnia. A simple search on google returns results of countless pieces advocating the superiority of early risers. One Inc magazine article is titled “Why Morning People Rule the World” (http://www.inc.com/news/articles/2010/07/research-says-morning-people-are-more-proactive.html) .
Yet, with all the human interest pieces advocating the superiority of being a morning person, I don’t necessarily think that everyone should conform.
The difference between a morning person and an evening person is reflected in the chronotype of the individual. Studies have shown that chronotypes vary vastly depending on the individual. This is because people have different sleep cycles, eating habits, body temperature, and etc. They also evolve in a lifecycle (teenagers are typically night owls while people between the ages of 30-50 are split). Knowing the diversity of chronotypes that exist, I would think that people would be more understanding of the different physical functions of each other instead of promoting an ideal in which we must all become “morning people”.
I think there are many Smith students, and college students in general whom wants so desperately to become a morning person. After all, I know I am not the only one fantasizing about walking to my 8am class on Monday smiling at the sun as it smiles back at me feeling well rested and happy without the stimulant from caffeine. But should I really be frustrated at not being a morning person? Or should I be more frustrated that the world in which we live in is structured to promote early risers? (Such as 8am classes and early school start times in high schools)
To be fair, there are several advantages to being an early riser. Morning people generally get up at the same time every day, giving them consistency in their schedule. Additionally, getting up in the morning allows you to eat a breakfast, which night owls sometimes skip.
The bottom line is: it’s okay to be a morning person, but it’s as equally acceptable to be a night owl. As long as you’re taking care of your physical and emotional self, everyone can reap the benefits of qualities such as success and productivity. They aren’t just reserved for morning people.