Monday, March 15

Early Birds versus Night Owls

As much as possible, I sleep by 12 midnight and wake up before 8am, not just for weekdays but also for weekends.

This isn't exactly early compared to the guys who sleep at 10pm and wake up by 6am, but I thought this is considered "early bird" by Singapore standards.

It's pretty amazing how everyone choose to be a night owl, and sleep in the wee hours (2-3am? it's crazy!) when it's well documented how bad for health it can be. From the traditional chinese medicine perspective, different parts of the organs rest at different time. And the all-important liver (one of the main detoxifying organ other than the kidney) needs to rest at 10-11pm.

Refuse to let your liver rest and see how slack it becomes when he needs to clear the sh*t in your body.

When I was young, I used to clubbed till the wee hours, come home and sleep for 8 hours (or more), and still feel lethargic after I get up, even when I consume minimal alcohol (I'm allergic). As some sleep experts argue, it's not how much you sleep, but rather how early you sleep that affects your quality of sleep.

Maybe I'm getting much older, I'm starting to feel half asleep before midnight. Sniff.

There's a big difference between day and night.

Early day is associated with aunties buying stuffs from the wet market. Or old people doing taiji in the park. Or old people taking their caged birds out for Chinese tea. One word to sum it - Slow.

Late Night on the other hand, is summarised using the word "Happening". The most popular primetime dramas are always slotted at night-time. Movie theatres screen midnight movies, in fact there are no movies in the early morning. There are 2 meals at night, namely dinner and supper, even though we know that SUPPER MAKES YOU FAT.

I say it's about time that night owls clean up their act, and look at the "bright side" of life. To be an early bird, you are less likely to snack at night, and more likely to have a better quality of life. There's way too many things to do at night, but most aren't value-adding to your life. TV, surfing porn Net, MSNing your friends, facebooking etc... You are more likely to be a sleep junkie, one who lost out on sleep because you are addicted to modern technology.

Translate your timetable, move everything forward by 1-2 hours. Sleep a little earlier, so you can wake up earlier, fresher and healthier. Record your TV shows if they are shown too late, you can watch them in the morning. The air in the morning is fresher, and with the lack of happenings to do in the morning, you are more likely to do something that has been neglected in the past - Jogging? Read the papers? Clean up your room? Communicate with your parents?

Some Night owls may argue that they sleep late so that they can do more of their own things before they sleep and begin the dreaded work the next day. I say that's myopic because when you wake up the next day, the FIRST few thing you gonna do is to work. And that sucks.

In contrast, an Early Bird wakes up early and do his own things BEFORE he goes to work. So that's an incentive to wake up early. He's less likely to reach work late, and may even avoid the morning traffic jam.

To each his own, but someday I will lead the Early Birds to kick the Night Owl's a** and take over the world. Muahahaha.

But that will mean me against 90% of the world. =(

About the Author: Shingo T will be hosting the Early Morning Show with Shingo T to combat the ratings for Late Night Show with David Letterman.


khengsiong said...

12am in Singapore and Malaysia is more like 11pm or 11:30pm.

You know that Muslims pray 5 times a day? The second prayer is supposed to be in mid-day, i.e. time when the sun is at its higher position. But over here, it is after 12.30pm, sometimes after one.

Manju said...

i have a very messed up sleeping pattern. sometimes i'll even sleep at 4am. i always wake up at 5am though to go running

werwer said...

No worries!
I'll join your team~
I'm an early bird!!!

Ai Shiang said...

Hey Shingo,
Do you mean 8AM rather than 8PM in your first sentence? If 8PM that means you sleep for 20 hours leh. :o)

I usually sleep 8 hours from 2AM to 10AM. My work hours are different than everyone else. But I do go to bed early if nothing much drama goes on :o)

Shingo T said...

Ai Shiang:
haha ya, typo error. I have edited the post, thanks. ^_^

CheaHS@n said...

You have one vote am adjusting my timing to sleep latest before midnite and out of bed by 6:00am in the short term and looking forward to sleep by 11pm eventually.:)thanks.

Lily Riani said...

i realised as you get older, you bio clock rquires more rest.... suddenly anything after 12 is wayyyyy to late. and i cant sleep pass 8am... body dont allow no matter how late i slept the day before.

RicAdeMus said...

I think early birds already rule the world. I'm middle of the road myself--in bed by midnight, up around 7 during the week and anywhere from 7 to 9 on weekends.

I have noticed at work that management seems to think people who come in earlier get more done, but they don't. I used to come in early and saw that many of the early-birds have breakfast on company time and chitchat over coffee. Now I come in at 9:00 and I don't have to deal with that.

Wenny Yap said...

Hi Shingo-T, sometimes it is not our choice to be up late and suffer the cycle. Most of the time, it is beyond our control as not everyone has the privilege of reaching home early as with us who live and work in the Klang Valley, Malaysia. For many years, I used to leave home at 6.30am and reached home only past 8.30pm, sometimes 9pm.

If I were to shift back to my hometown in Muar Johor, I'm pretty sure the whole family will be in bed by 10pm. But then, career opportunity and advancement would have been different then.

However to me, it does not matter how early or late we sleep, it's the quality of the sleep we had. Nowadays I sleep about 1am and wakes up at 6.15am with no naps in the day and still feels energetic. Our mindset also makes the difference ... always stay positive, it helps.

Anonymous said...

strange how when we were young we'll stay uo late and still be able to wake up early the next day.

It's only when we're in our late 40s that all that late night starts to take its toll

Roxy. said...

Haha, i sleep at 3-4 and wake up at 8 am. Hmmm, am i a eagle then? haha.
Its true that the hours of sleep affects the health, i have been trying to kick this habit but sadly its getting real hard when people that i really want to talk to are only available in the wee hours of the night and thus in order to be able to talk to them, i myself become a night owl.

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