Are You An Owl Or A Lark?

Posted by : foongpc | Wednesday, September 10, 2008 | Published in


Are you one of those people who sleep late at night and wake up late in the morning?

Or do you have to get to bed early, probably by 10pm latest and wake up early in the morning before the sun rises?

If you are the former, you are an owl.

Art from Animal Forum

If you are the latter, then you are a morning lark.

Art from

Me? Most definitely an owl.

You see, I can sleep very easily and I think if I make myself go to bed at 9pm, I’ll most probably be fast asleep in 10 minutes! But somehow, I feel sleeping so early will waste my precious night time.

Well, you know, we work hard at our job during the day time and we like to have the night time to relax and enjoy doing whatever we want to do. Sometimes, I’ll be enjoying myself past midnight before I decide it’s bedtime.

Now I know this is bad for my health. I learnt from health experts that the time between 11pm and 3am is crucial for us to be fast asleep in bed. Reason is, this is the time our liver do its detoxification and regeneration work. Our liver is vital in cleansing our body and assist with proper digestion. If we are awake at these hours, our liver won’t be able to do a good job and that would affect our well being. A poor functioning liver would eventually lead to diabetes, poor digestion, loss of energy and a weak immune system.

Picture from The Life Tree

The Chinese even go so far as to say that an hour of sleep before midnight is worth two hours of sleep after midnight. So for the sake of good health, it’s better to sleep earlier and wake up early than staying up late and sleeping in. Not very good news for us owls!

So really, I must try to sleep earlier and in fact, I’ve been trying to do so these past weeks. Of course there will be days when doing this is quite impossible especially during weekends, when you go out with friends.

You don’t want to be telling your friends “OK, it’s bedtime, I gotta go home now.” I have a female friend who is like that, and we all dubbed her Cinderella. Simply because she must be home before 12 midnight!

Of course, I try to get to bed before midnight on weekday nights. The trouble with me is that even if I sleep early, I still tend to wake up late! Looks like of all the beautiful birds out there, I’m fated to be an owl!

I don’t know about you, but I really dislike (okay, I won’t use the word "hate" here) waking up before the sunrise! I mean, it’s still dark, for God’s sake! How do you wake up when it’s still dark?

But oddly, there were a few times when I was forced to wake up early and I sort of enjoyed the early morning. Somehow, I felt the quietness of the early morning tend to be very calming and my mind was more alert and fresh. I like to spend that early morning hours by myself, thinking and day dreaming and just enjoy my own “peaceful” time. I found that it’s also a good time to plan the day or review my goals.

Photo from zenhabits

And have you tried driving in the early morning hours when the traffic is light? It’s such a pleasure to drive! I even found it therapeutic!

But the best benefit I derive from rising early is that I am able to increase my productivity and as a result, I have better time management. I found that I could do more things compared to the days when I wake up late.

Haven’t you heard this famous quote from Benjamin Franklin who said, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”?

Hmm, come to think of it, maybe I should transform myself into a lark.

Sounds tempting, but still, don’t expect me to be in bed by 10pm. That’s way too early for me! I will, however try to sleep before midnight because I love my liver and health is very important to me.

As for rising early say before the sun rises, I don’t mind doing it occasionally (like once or twice a week) just to feel the cool morning air and enjoy the calmness that comes with it.

Well, you can’t blame me. Blame it on my genes! That's right, animal studies found that whether you are a morning or night person, is already determined by your genes, like having red hair or blue eyes. Still, even though you can’t change your genes, no one says you can’t change your habits.

So my question now is, what about you? Are you an owl or a lark? Do you intend to change or just stick to being an owl or a lark?

Come to think of it, why not be somewhere in between?
A hummingbird would suit me just fine!

(17) Comments

  1. Anonymous

    I am both..hahha! I am a morning person and still am but ever since the camera and blogging occupied my time, I have been sleeping late but not beyond 1am. Strange thing is, most people who sleep late will also get up late. I am the body gets wakey ard 9am or so even after a very late night. I tend to recover lost sleep during the day by having naps. Nevertheless, i try to have sufficient sleep. I find sleeping late messes up my sleep pattern and sometimes, it takes days to recover from the lethargy. Interesting post!

    September 10, 2008 at 8:51 AM
  2. foongpc said...

    Haha! I'm totally opposite. Whether sleep early or late, still wake up late! I do take afternoon naps too though it's limited to just 20 minutes : )

    September 10, 2008 at 11:47 AM
  3. day-dreamer said...

    Muahahaha! I am an owl, always an owl.

    I find waking up before the sun rises is a pain in the ass too! No matter how early I slept before that, I will feel very tired if I wake up before the sun is way up in the sky. That's why I sleep in lecture class. Hehe.

    September 10, 2008 at 12:21 PM
  4. Tekkaus said...

    Hmm...I thing I a hummingbird. Ha =) But I usually woke up at 6.30 a.m everyday. 7.30 a.m. is the max and my wife will be waking me up!

    Yupe, I've heard it too. 11-3 is the best time for our body natural "overhaul" system. Liver is the best boos here. So we have to make sure he is happy, well-rested and healthy. If liver taiko is down, we will be down too in no time.

    Besides, It's important to get sleep around 2-3 am in the morning because only at that time our body will produce certain antibody if we are well-rested.

    Anyway good write up foong! =)

    September 10, 2008 at 4:35 PM
  5. Bengbeng said...

    sleep is a very precious commodity to me. I sleep from 12 to 5 every day. i make up for the lack of sleep during the weekends but i am so involved in NGO activities it is sometimes difficut. am i a lark or an owl?

    September 10, 2008 at 11:26 PM
  6. foongpc said...

    day-dreamer, you're just like me, but try not to sleep in lecture class lah unless it's really boring : )

    tekkaus, wow, you wake up at 6.30am? it's too early for me! : ) You're more of a lark then. What time you sleep?

    philip, thanks for starting a Malaysian Entrecarders list. Have added you to my recommended blogs.

    bengbeng, 5 hours of sleep only? For me that's not enough and will have to compensate by taking naps in the afternoon. I guess you must be a lark cos you sleep by midnight and wake up before the sun rises
    : )

    September 11, 2008 at 3:00 AM
  7. Anonymous

    I'm a lark! I wake up around 6-7 a.m. and I go to sleep around 9-10 p.m. That's why they say wanna spam my comment box, do it after 10, so I will not be up and about to delete...delete...delete!!! LOL!!!

    September 11, 2008 at 8:15 AM
  8. Anonymous

    I'm definitely a lark. Eversince I can remember, I an an early riser. No matter how late I sleep, I will still wake up early. The latest I found myself in bed is 8am but that rarely happens. I don't like waking up late, I feel that I wasted precious hours. I'm glad I'm used to an early day, it definitely is a plus since I need to prepare the kids for school. :)

    September 11, 2008 at 8:28 AM
  9. Anonymous

    Then I am a hummingbird. I sleep around 1030 and wake up around 7 in weekdays. I also dislike waking up too early in the morning. During weekends, I could sleep till 9am even though I went to bed early the night before.

    September 11, 2008 at 9:00 AM
  10. Monica said...

    I am an owl...LOL
    btw, pls come and grab your award here. ;-)

    September 11, 2008 at 12:45 PM

    I have always been an owl but will have to be a lark starting next week with my new job. I do enjoy the solitude of early mornings. It is almost as if I am in another world.

    September 11, 2008 at 1:12 PM
  12. foongpc said...

    suituapui, haha! you sleep really early at 9pm and waking up so early at 6pm. Definitely a lark : )

    babette, it's true. You can accomplish more things when you wake up early!

    jam, I guess we can wake up later during weekends. I sometimes sleep till noon during weekends! : )

    September 11, 2008 at 1:53 PM
  13. foongpc said...

    monica, thanks. Will check it out : )

    health nut wannabee mom, yes it's actually a very nice feeling in the early morning. But it's not easy to transform into a lark overnight. Good luck! : )

    September 11, 2008 at 1:55 PM
  14. HappySurfer said...

    Foong, you said, But somehow, I feel sleeping so early will waste my precious night time.

    LOL! Exactly my sentiments! I'm an owl. Hoot! Hoot!

    September 11, 2008 at 6:10 PM
  15. foongpc said...

    happysurfer, so what time you go to sleep?

    September 13, 2008 at 4:41 PM
  16. Unknown said...

    i agree mornings can be nice (those early mornings). but i am most productive in evenings & nights (read it somewhere as well that each of us have 'good time').

    so i dont really sleep early, unless the next day i have to wake up extra early for some errands/ work. though on weekedays, i try to adhere to a 'proper' time lol.

    September 13, 2008 at 10:06 PM
  17. foongpc said...

    quachee, so you are an owl just like me. Haha!

    September 14, 2008 at 11:39 AM