Why Some Of Us Sleep Late At Night. And Sleep Few Hours

Staying up and going to sleep late at night is something I’m all too familiar with. And so is getting a few hours of sleep each night.

I go to bed around midnight or one in the morning on most weeknights, setting my alarm to ring at 6.30am. I thought many others did this, until I mentioned it at work. When I did, my blonde-haired, twenty-something colleague Simone exclaimed, “What? I go to bed at nine. Nine thirty!”

Sunsets are the start of a brand new day for some of us night owls | Weekly Photo Challenge: New.

Sunsets are the start of a brand new day for some of us night owls | Weekly Photo Challenge: New.

I can’t imagine myself sleeping at that time every night. “Too early,” I said.

Some of us sleep late because night time is our time, time for ourselves. Sometimes it’s the only time of the day where we get to do what we want after a long day’s work and looking out for others. Work takes up my entire day, and it’s only late at night when I get the chance to write.

We stay up late because we feel most alert, most energetic, at night. We’re night owls and function best then. Which could be because of delayed sleep phase syndrome, an out of whack biological clock. There have been nights where I hit the pillow at 10pm – and felt very groggy during the next morning.

Sometimes we feel most at peace late at night – the world speaks to us right then, so we stay up. To some of us, the still air, the quiet of the night feels like magic. The inspiration to write always hits me at this time of the day, another reason I put off sleeping more.

Then again, maybe some of us were taught to stay up late when we were younger and it’s become a habit we can’t shake off. When I was doing high school in Singapore, my Asian classmates complained of “burning the midnight oil”, staying up late mugging for exams – and studious me did just that to keep up with them.

And so sometimes we stay up late because we worry. Back in Singapore I remember tossing and turning in bed countless nights before exams thinking, “Did I memorise the maths formulas correctly?”

It seems people who live in Asia go to bed later than others in the Western world. Shops in many Asian cities don’t close until 10-11pm, but here in Melbourne shopping centres shut at 7pm except on late-night shopping nights (apart from grocery stores). Perhaps some Asians are fond of working longer hours and staying out later, and so turn in later.

Certainly not all Asians are fans of sleeping late. My Chinese Malaysian mum champions sleeping early; she’s usually in bed by 10pm. When I was a kid, she nagged at me in the evenings, “Go to sleep now or else the Sleeping God will go away! Then you can’t sleep!”. I always laughed, thinking she was making this character up to scare me into sleeping. But recently I found out she wasn’t lying: in Chinese culture there is a God of Dreams who appears in dreams and hints of what’s to come in the future.

Dawn of the night. Dawn of a new day.

Dawn of the night. Dawn of a new day.

Some say smarter people stay up late, and some with successful careers get by on little sleep. But of course not all of us are actually like that. There are days at work where I feel physically tired, like the late nights or age are catching up with me. Or it could be bad quality sleep or poor diet. And because of this, sometimes I’m a bit out of it at work.

One afternoon Simone said to me point blank, “I don’t know how you do it. I need my eight hours sleep.” Well, neither do I. “You get used to it”, I said, looking up from my computer for a second, then going straight back to furiously typing a memo into the work database. Sleeping late and sleeping few hours, it’s a choice – sometimes we have to, sometimes we want to, sometimes both. If I went to sleep early each night, there wouldn’t be much of a blog here. Wouldn’t be much stories about why it’s okay to be different here.

We sleep late and little because we want to get things done. Be productive. And try to make the world a better place.

Do you sleep late?

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190 thoughts on “Why Some Of Us Sleep Late At Night. And Sleep Few Hours

  1. Sleep is such a wonderful thing. I’ve had the strange boon of having too many jobs that work different shifts. As such, I’ve always had to adjust my days. I used to get up at 4am everyday for one job. I only lasted a month. Too tired because I tend to stay up late as well. I’m usually in bed around midnight but then I read and reflect on the day. That goes until my eyes can’t stay open and I fall asleep. On average, I think I sleep 6 to 7 hours a night. It seems to be enough for me.

    But oh do I love going out and experiencing the world at night, particularly when there’s no one else around. A jaunt through the woods, or even a snowshoe along trails weaving in and out of small villages. The crisp night can be very invigorating. So yeah. I sleep late.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed. “Sleep is a wonderful thing”. We need it to exist, to recharge and basically get on with our day. Not enough of it, sometimes we get cranky and our world looks upside down. That’s happened to me before.

      I’ve never had a shift work job, but it sounds very demanding. If you are lucky, those jobs might pay more to make up for the erratic hours. Reading is a good way to lull the body to sleep – quiet and slow. I should do that more before bedtime and maybe I’ll toss and turn less prior to actually sleeping.

      Careful out there late at night. You know, things do go bump in the night… 🙂

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  2. I enjoyed reading you “sleep late at night” post, Mabel! Love these two beautiful photos. I stay late if I have to. After 9-hour work, workout, dinner,… I get pretty tired before 10 pm. 🙂

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    • 9-hour work. That is a bit of a demanding job there :O You must have good time management skills to fit all that you want to do in a day and sleep before midnight. Good on you.

      Thank you for the compliments on the photo, and for stopping by 🙂

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      • Also, the writing of this topic flows so well. I like how you mix the stories in to the article. Your photo is getting better and better every time! Love the angle you took, and you captured the beautiful colors of the sky. Well done, Mabel 🙂

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        • Thank you for all the kind words, Amy. I felt very excited writing this post, finished it in two days flat late into the night. See, I thrive writing late into the night… 😉

          This photo had very minimal processing, the sunset was that beautiful. It’s not often that great scenes find me. I actually took a lot of photos of this sunset 😀

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  3. Another ‘food for thought’ post, Mabel! I can’t speak for all of Asia, but I think Taiwanese say up late because they get off work late. I remember many Taiwanese, especially in the bigger cities, telling me that their normal work day ended at 7 or even 8 p.m. Then, they would have dinner and when you add the commute time, it would be about 9 p.m. before they got home. So, I guess the only alternative they would have for free time is to stay up late. And it seems that most Taiwanese can sleep at anywhere and at anytime and that may be the reason as well. However, I think the older generation is in bed rather early and up at the crack of dawn.

    As for me, I am in bed at 11 and up at 7. I need my 8 hours sleep. However, there has been some nights when a great post just formulates in my mind and I just have to write it down (ex. small town girl) and some mornings, like the other morning, I woke up with two blog posts perfectly organized and worded in my head, so I got up and wrote them down as well.

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    • 7-8pm is a late finish to the work day, and I’m assuming many Taiwanese start work at 9am or maybe even a bit earlier. Didn’t know they can fall asleep anywhere, anytime. That certainly doesn’t work for me. I usually manage to fall asleep when I’m in my own bed or in a comfortable chair that’s not making me hot.

      That’s a decent hour to rise and shine. But good that you do make exceptions for writing. Often these creative moments are fleeting. The slightest bit of distraction could make us forget it all in a second. I wish I had more moments like you – blog posts and stories organised AND worded in my head. That should motivate me more to get out of bed on days when I don’t need to work 😀

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      • Oh, believe me, the majority of Taiwanese can nap everywhere – on the train, on the bus, on a table at McDonalds, etc. I have a post written about my husband sleeping habits which will be published in a month or two. He can fall asleep with the snap of a finger.

        Yes, writing down something great that pops into my head is mandatory. If I don’t, I know i would be kicking myself later and wonder why I didn’t write it down when it was so perfectly phrased in my head.

        It’s the weekend! Hope it is a great one!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I need at least 6 hours of sleep to feel that I’ve slept at all. But because of my husband’s work hours, going to bed doesn’t happen until 1am at the earliest. I was an early morning person for decades, but I’m beginning to get used to the late night hours now.

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    • I’ve heard many people older than me say that early mornings and nights work best for them. Seems like you’re the opposite. 6 hours sleep usually works for me if I sleep deeply and if I don’t wake up in the middle of the night…sometimes 4 hours works too.

      Adjusting to early mornings or late nights takes time. I wonder if one day I’ll get used to early days.

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    • I’ve always thought it was an Asian thing…but then again, as Jess (down in the comments) said, it could be an individual thing too. When I’ve got a lot I want to do, sometimes I’ll turn in at 2. But I usually feel tired the next day!

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  5. Oh boy, this is so me! I have always been the night owl but I can’t sleep in either. In fact, I took up rowing a couple of years ago so sometimes I’m going to bed at 1am and getting up at 5.30am to row. And these days if I’m not rowing, I’m running. No time for sleeping!
    I do find, however, that I can keep that up for about a week and then I crash. But I have a catch up day of either napping during the day (if I’m not working) or getting to bed early to catch up and then I’m back to the late nights.

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    • Another proud night owl! But I’m the kind who can sleep in, sometimes until 11am when I’m really exhausted from doing so much but I try to avoid it. That is a very physically active lifestyle you live, I wonder how you get the energy for rowing after five hours or so sleep? Maybe you run on adrenalin 😀

      It’s great that napping helps. When I nap in the afternoon, I will no doubt be very energetic around midnight. Seems like some of us night owls have erratic sleeping habits 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I sleep late unfortunately and the reasons you cited for late nights are spot on. When I was working, my sleep habits were worse – many nights, I was lucky to get 5 hours of sleep. Then the chronic lack of sleep started to take its toll on my health.

    So, take it from this old lady, take care of yourself and get enough sleep and let your subconscious wander into those lovely dreamland. 🙂

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    • So sorry to hear you got so little sleep in the past. But great that these days you are sleeping better.

      I will take your wise advise to get enough sleep. Sometimes I do get the luxury of sleeping in after sleeping late, but I’m finding it’s worsening my acid reflux of late. Maybe it’s time for a better sleeping pattern. Thank you, Imelda.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What? Go to bed at 9.30? That’s what babies do!
    A traveler/writer once told me: “The way I see it, we will get lots of sleep when we’re dead, so there is no need to waste more time sleeping when we’re alive.”, and I kind of agree with that.

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    • Believe it a lot, of the many places I’ve worked, a lot of my colleagues go to bed before 10pm. I’m always the odd one out :/ I think a lot of the time people go to sleep early is that they don’t have anything else to do at night. Maybe I’m an overachiever, or just tend to do what I want to do really slow.

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  8. These days I go around 11pm to bed and wake up at 5:50am to get ready for work….

    But this is already much sleep! During my high school time I often went to sleep after 1-2am and wakes up before 6 again. However it appeared to be enough sleep back then as I surivived my daily school and six hours of swimming practice 🙂

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    • So that’s almost seven hours of sleep for you, Crazy. Pretty decent. So long as you don’t doze in the office should be a sign that you’re getting enough sleep to get by.

      I don’t know how you did it in your younger days. Sleep few hours, and then a full time swimmer. Maybe it was your diet, the food that you ate gave your the energy to swim on and on. But it all sounds not normal 🙂

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      • I wish it would be seven hours as we have little nathan who is not fond of sleeping during night time at all :p

        I guess I have around five hours top per night but it will get better over time so seven hours might be achievable at some point.

        No idea if it was the food back in the day or just youthful energy, or a mix of both :p

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        • Ah, sounds like little Nathan is a night owl. You might want to trade in his piglet onesie for an owl one then, more apt 😉

          Youthful energy. I think I’m still holding on to some of that right now. But I can feel it’s slowly fading away (given that I eat quite healthy).

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  9. Hmm… I have always gone to bed late. I thought I didn’t need eight hours of sleep. My father is a physician who thinks 5 hours is a LOT of sleep, so you can see the kind of example that I had. But now… I live with my fiance, and he goes to bed EARLY (anywhere between 8 and 10pm) because he has to get up early. I am seeing more and more how much better I feel with a full night of sleep, and I feel like I can get so much more done if I get up earlier, which means going to bed earlier, so…

    All of this to say that I am *trying* to start going to bed earlier. Also, I don’t think it’s true that Westerners generally go to bed earlier than people elsewhere. I think it’s largely an individual thing — unless you’re in some European countries where dinner often goes until 9 or 10 at night! 😉

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    • Creative people generally sleep late and sleep fewer others. At least that’s what other writers and artists I’ve met have told me. But that is a good observation. If we get up earlier, we can get going on what we need to do – and want to do. As the saying goes, the early bird catches the worm 🙂

      One thing I like being awake early is hearing the birds chirp and sing outside my apartment. Good luck with sleeping earlier. I am sure can manage it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think you’re right about the creative part. But I do love the mornings, too. I’m trying to sleep earlier because it’s more practical and healthful, and if I need to be up early, I can’t stay up all night and do well the next day. (I used to stay up ALL night!)

        I was in bed before 11 last night, so here’s to getting to bed earlier!

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        • I don’t particularly hate mornings…but it’s hard for me to love them when I feel awful then most days. I guess there will come a point where we can’t pull all nighters anymore. But with age comes wisdom 😉

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  10. I used to be a late night-owl, too… until I realized that I really wanted to start getting up earlier. And going to bed past midnight really doesn’t help me to achieve my ideal goal of waking up before 7:00am every day. (And waking up by 7am rarely happens these days). So currently I aim to be bed no later than 10pm.

    Sometimes I envy those people who can get by with only 6-7 hours of sleep. Since I was a child I’ve been a 9-10 hour sleeper. Maybe that will change with time (especially once kids start entering the picture), but for now I’m trying to be more content with less sleep. Haha, not always that simple!

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    • Sounds like you are on your way to becoming an early bird. As I’ve mentioned to Jess (above in the comments), the early bird catches the worm. The earlier we rise, the faster we can get on with our day and be more productive.

      I’m one of those people who generally function well on 5-6 hours sleep, but it needs to be heavy, uninterrupted sleep. On the days when I sleep in, I find that it does no good for my acid reflux-heartburn…so you are right, it’s not always that simple. Good luck with the early mornings. You can do it!

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    • “…just programmed different”. I like how you say it. And I agree. We all have different personalities, so most certainly our bodies are wired differently – some of us prefer mornings, others nights.

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  11. I’m like you, Mabel – what is known as “chronotype late”, but my husband is the opposite, so I’m trying to train myself to go to bed earlier. But I am more energised and creative at night.

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    • High five, BB. I’m trying to sleep earlier and wake up ealier too – I think it’s beneficial for my health and for me reflux gets worse after a string of late nights.

      But I really don’t like sacrificing creativity, I really don’t 😀

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  12. I don’t go to sleep until 1230 or 1 in the morning. Why? because it the only time where it nice and quiet at home and I can think without any distraction. I am also one that needs a good night sleep to, so if I have to work the next day I’ll try to go to sleep early, but it usually never happens. The results is that am falling asleep and/or just tired the next day. One more thing, I am not a coffee drinker, so am fighting to stay awake in the mornings sometimes.

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    • “…it usually never happens.” Now that happens to me too. I’d be awake at 8pm and say I’ll sleep in a couple of hours. Next thing I know it’s close to midnight and I’m either writing or looking through photos I’ve took recently.

      I hope you don’t fall asleep too often in the day. I hear snacking helps to keep you awake. I’m not a coffee drinker either. Don’t often drink tea too. So I sympathise with early mornings 🙂

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  13. I am not a late night sleeper. If I don’t get sleep, like a lot of it, I simply don’t work. My b/f works late into the wee hours because it’s the only time he feels like he can get stuff done.

    I actually prefer the mornings to the night. Nighttime seems scary and the mornings feel fresh and clean. I’d rather go out in the morning when the world feels kinder than at night when mischief seems more likely to be out.

    That being said, my work schedule dictates my sleep times. For years now, I work at night and so I eat and go to bed later than I’d like. Thankfully, I can sleep in though. But then on Saturdays I have to get up early…it’s a strange schedule.

    In Thailand, everyone is out late because that’s when the weather has cooled down!

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    • “I simply don’t work”. Oh dear. Sounds like no-sleep-Lani equals cranky-Lani. That is a good point – mischief is certainly out there in the night (things do go bump in the night) and it’s true that it’s peaceful early in the morning.

      I really dislike it when work dictates our sleeping schedule but at the end of the day, the world does not revolve around us. The world will revolve around us if we can make the sun rise and set on command.

      Ah, it’s cooler at night in Malaysia and Singapore too. So maybe another reason everyone there is out and about until late.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I go to bed early, 10:30 pm, but I then get up real early too, 4:00 -4:30 am… more sleep is no good for me lol 🙂 ima joking, of course… these crazy hours are work-driven and I have been doing this for so many years that I now am so used to it and actually enjoy it… it’s great to work when it’s so quiet everywhere… sometimes I wish a day and night could be longer than 24 hours, so many things to get done 🙂

    how do you come up with these interesting subjects for posts, Mabel… 🙂 do you think of them early in the morning or late in the night? 🙂

    wishing you a fabulous day and dont’ stay too late 🙂

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    • That is a very early wake-up call! You sound like a pro at it, though – definitely used to it. And also sounds like you are very good at being organised, making the most of the time early in the day. I need the inspiration to rise early consistently without it feeling like a chore….

      Ideas for stories come to me…whenever. Readers like you also inspire me 😉 But I find that my thought process flows a lot better at night.

      You have a good day too, Alexandra. Oh look, it’s almost midnight here…!

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  15. I’m waking up early now with jetlAg 🙂

    I don’t sleep too late but I definitely write at night sometimes, after my husband has gone to bed. My brain does what it wants and sometimes is more nocturnal. Can’t say I’m an a or b type though it really depends on the day.

    Here in Greenland it’s dark most days now so night and day don’t make much difference.

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    • I hope you shake that jetlag off soon enough. The side effects of a good holiday abroad 😀

      Aha! Creative people and writers like us thrive in the night. But then again, if I had a really hard and tiring day at work, physically it’s hard to write late at night – even though my mind is quite mentally alert.

      As you know, the sun sets at around 5pm during winter in Australia. A lot of my colleagues have complained they feel like going to bed at 6 or 7pm.

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        • Sun rising at 10.30am. That is something I’ve never encountered before and I wonder what it’s like waking up to darkness most mornings. I generally tend to “wake up better” if the sun isn’t too bright, easing into the day easier.

          Most days for me is a struggle to get out of bed. I always feel like writing when I’m in bed, about the fall asleep. It’s so annoying 😀 I hope sometimes when you wake up and feel like writing, you get onto it straight away!

          Liked by 1 person

  16. I cannot at all understand how people go to sleep early. All the most wonderful things are at night.

    Yet, even if smart people tend to stay up later, the world seems to be ruled by morning people. It’s not fair. Why must most jobs (and schools) require waking up so damn EARLY? It’s not fair!!

    Oh well 🙂

    Napping helps…

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    • I think the reason people go to sleep early is physical. And as the saying goes, the early bird catches the worm… I suppose morning people will argue that by sleeping in (and going to sleep later), we start late and hence get behind on things…

      Napping in the afternoon helps me feel super alert at midnight 🙂

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  17. I am a bad sleeper, like you, I don’t get to bed until around midnight, and am up and at it by 630am every morning. I don’t see how going to work for 8-10 hours a day and sleeping the rest is any way to live, but hey, who am I to judge. Cool post, thanks for the reminder its cool to be different.

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    • That is so true – work all day, and no play at night. It’s a very scary thought as there is more to life than just work, work and more work. Especially if we are in a repetitive job.

      “It’s cool to be different”. You said it. Thank you, Anna 🙂

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  18. I should sleep more than what I do. More often than not I have a lack of sleep.

    “Go to sleep now or else the Sleeping God will go away!”
    Of course there is no such thing as a God, but research has shown that our biological clocks makes us sleepy every hour (when it’s around bedtime).
    So, if you miss your chance to go to sleep, most likely you won’t feel tired again before one hour has passed.

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    • It is interesting you mentioned our biological clocks making us sleepy at certain points in time – a very logical explanation. From your photos I really can’t tell you have a lack of sleep. Maybe you don’t feel it.

      Sometimes when I try to sleep in (say 10am, 11am) my body doesn’t respond too well. I feel sick to the stomach and have to get up to feel better.

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  19. I’m a day person. I also love sleeping and I normally go to bed at 11 and get up at 8. Even on the weekends I can’t stay up very late! Sometimes if I go out and sleep less than I am used to, I feel awful the next day haha.

    One of the reasons I love sleeping is because I need to rest my eyes… I spend the whole day looking at screens!

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    • I love sleeping too! On the days when I don’t work, I will sleep in until 9 or 10am. I hope most days you get enough sleep. It sounds awful that you feel awful running on little sleep.

      Maybe you might want to take vision breaks from the computer or screens more often. In one of the jobs I worked, it was screens all day and by the end of each day I was very tired!

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  20. Mabel my bedtime depends on when I have to get up. When I have had a job where I had to get up at 5:30 I have been in bed by 10pm. Now it’s a bit later depending on what the next day has in store. Happy sleeping. 🙂

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    • That is very sensible of you, Sue, to sleep early when you have a job to go to early the next day. You must have been a chirpy, enthusiastic employee 🙂

      Thank you for wishing me happy sleeping. I love sleeping in when I don’t have work the next day. In fact, I do a mean sleep in – 10am or 11am sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Chirpy and energetic you are, Sue. How I wish I could have a part time job so I can snooze more. Oh, what luxury that will be.

          However, if we every take a trip together, I am sure you will yelling at me to get out of bed in the morning 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          • I’m not usually known for yelling Mabel. 🙂

            Yes I am very fortunate to be working part time. As we raised our kids it was our decision that I would work part time and luckily we were able to make that work. After they were grown it just seemed like a good rhythm so I do most of the household stuff and then we can enjoy the weekends doing fun things together.

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  21. i need seven hours of sleep to function well during the day, Mabel. my sleeping pattern is a bit crazy though. i am in bed usually by 9:30 or 10 the latest but i wake up in the middle of the night and stay awake for at least an hour. i’m so used to this pattern that i actually cherish the quietude of the night to meditate and pray. sweet dreams, Mabel 🙂

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    • Wow. That is a bit of a crazy sleeping pattern, but good that it works for you, Lola. If I wake up in the middle of the night, it’s not a good sign – I will go back to sleep and later wake up feeling like I’ve barely slept.

      Enjoy those quiet times in the night/early morning 🙂

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    • That’s not too bad. Sounds like you’re bordering on being an early and late sleeper. But certainly an early riser. I hope you get 7 hours of sleep most nights. Don’t want you feeling sleep deprived when you’re out and about taking photos 🙂

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  22. Indians for sure stay up late..at least the majority of the working ones. We only get off work after 7/8pm..and by the time we reach home, have dinner, watch a little tv..its already 11pm!

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    • I always thought Indians stay up late, because all my Indian friends in Singapore do so! Also, sometimes here in Australia I get Indian telemarketers calling me at night…though annoying, I must say they work hard!

      I hope you get enough sleep and rest!

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  23. Heard a program on the wireless about research on this some months back. It seems there are basically 2 camps; those who are suited by going to bed early and those suited by going late. The important thing is to have enough sleep; too little can be injurious to your health.
    One thought goes through my mind while typing this is whether couples who are planning to marry are better matches and/or have more lasting marriages if they are in the same or different bedtime bracket.

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    • “The important thing is to have enough sleep”. Very wise words indeed. Not enough sleep is dangerous – we can nod off while driving or doze off in a work meeting, how embarrassing that would be.

      If two people are in love and are intent on making their marriage work, they’d make time for each other regardless of whether they are morning or night people.

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  24. Wow. I feel you, girl. I always sleep in late, like really late. E.g. It is 3.11 AM right now… But I know I will curse myself in the morning, because this sleeproutine is bad for me and bad for my health.
    But I still do it, for the many reasons you wrote… Wow, you really wrote me.
    So weird to recognize so much of yourself in a writing by someone else.

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    • I hope you managed to sleep after 3.11AM. Sleep is what we need to get by in this world whether we like it or not. Sometimes I get started writing or doing something else early on in the night…and before I know it, it’s past midnight. Another reason why I sleep late: I lose track of time, completely absorbed in what I’m doing.

      Thanks for reading and for the nice words. Maybe we’re all more similar than we know it.

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  25. Wow Mabel – I’ve never heard of this syndrome and I feel SO much better knowing I’m not the only one!
    I go to be right around midnight each night because otherwise I would sleep too late in the morning but my nature is to stay up until 1 or 2 and sleep until 10. I’ve just had to fight it forever to become more “normal”. Complicating matter, my husband is an early-to-sleep, early riser who wakes up cheerful and chatty UGH! We now have the “10 minute rule” which he and all my friends make fun of but I need at least that much time before I can THINK about interacting with someone. Thanks for this very interesting post! (and both of the links)

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    • We have something in common! During the periods where I don’t work, I’ve found that sleeping at 1am and rising at 10am works very, very well for me – can make it through the whole day feeling energised and falling asleep at the end is actually easy. You shouldn’t be too hard on yourself 😉

      Cheerful and chatting in the mornings. Usually when I hear those people I immediately close my eyes for a bit! Glad you and your husband have worked around this. And thanks for stopping by and reading 😀

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  26. I love the early morning so I usually try and make sure I’m up for it, but often have trouble getting to sleep early if I’ve been on the computer so I have to get off, well, around now (9.20pm) and do other things for a while before going to bed. Can’t cope on less than 6 hours but have been on holidays and luxuriating in 7, 8, even 9 hours – it’s wonderful. Nice sunset /dawn’ pics.

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    • I tend to prefer summer mornings as opposed to winter mornings – don’t like getting greeted by a blast of cold air waking up, makes it so much more harder.

      It’s good that you have a bit of a routine settling into sleep, winding down into it. Very sensible and good that you know how many hours of sleep you need. More hours in bed never hurts, does it…sometimes it’s just so peaceful lounging in bed for a few more hours.

      Thanks, Maamej. Melbourne likes putting on a good sunset sometimes 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  27. I used to sleep very late when I was a teenager…. nowadays I need to sleep early, because even if I go to bed at 2 in the morning, I always wake up maximum at 7, my metabolism is clock hahaha. I stay up until 22-23, after that I try to go to bed. I work better in early mornings, at night I was never so good at studying or working. I always preferred to wake up early to do things 😀

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    • I think your body wakes up early naturally because you are always so eager to do something! I think that is a good thing, and that way you don’t have to set your alarm. Or maybe Enzzo is your alarm… 😀

      Early is good because you have the whole day of you to be productive, especially get things done with other “morning/day people”. If we go on a holiday together, you can wake me up in the morning! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • True!! I am always thinking, I guess too much sometimes… so I always wake up wanting to do something! But no, Enzzo is too lazy to wake me up, normally is the opposite hahaha

        Yes, I like to get things done early… so at the end of the day I have some rest 😀 hahaah yess I could wake you up, no problem 🙂

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        • I need to be more like you: wake early and do things early and actually finish things…but my mind is most creative at night!

          You might never want to leave me and Enzzo together. We might fall asleep together and wake up super late 😀

          Liked by 1 person

  28. unless i am absolutely knackered from work, i usually sleep late ~12am. a little later on weekends.
    its when i feel i have a little time to myself and do my own thing, without disruption or distraction, like working on my blog.
    have a good weekend, mabel.
    ken

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    • “knackered”. That’s a word I absolutely love. Sleeping late is something we have in common then.

      Sometimes doing our own thing takes time. Writing takes time – drafting and then editing and later re-editing. With photos, there are so many ways you can edit them and sometimes that keeps me occupied until very late at night.

      Thanks, Ken. You enjoy the rest of the weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. I was off work for 11 days over the Christmas holidays. My body immediately went to what feels natural…and that is to go to bed late (2am) and sleep late (10am). Sadly my work life doesn’t allow that. I typically go to sleep around midnight and get up (grudgingly) around 7am. I could easily sleep my days away and spend the nights being productive….my job just doesn’t allow it!

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  30. This is an interesting article. Honestly, we think this is an “Australian” thing… when we travel in anywhere in the world, the cities and towns are still awake well into the night. Whereas we find that by 9 pm in Sydney on most nights, the number of people on the streets have reduced significantly. Maybe it’s just the culture?? We haven’t quite worked it out. In Spain, dinner isn’t served sometimes until 9 pm and at 2 am in the in the morning, we can still hear people on the streets; not partying… just awake!

    Anyway, now about when we sleep?
    When we are working and have normal working hours – we sleep early and wake up early. Because we have heard that every hour we sleep before midnight is equivalent to two hours after midnight – not sure how true that is… but we try and get as much sleep as we can when we are working. Otherwise, no joke, we look and act like zombies!
    But on holidays – we are night owls… never in bed before midnight! LOL! And up early to make the most of our days.
    Blame work for the early nights 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • It could be the fairly slow, laid-back, easy-she-goes Australian culture, a reason why the streets are quiet early on in the night. Maybe it’s also the weather…but like you, I am inclined to think it’s an Australian thing.

      Very responsible of you monkeys to sleep early and get to work on time. Gold star employees right there. Haven’t heard of that sleeping equation before, it is interesting ❓

      If you look sleep-deprived or like zombies, you can always use make-up to cover up your face! And coffee or an obscene amount of tea to energise the body (which I actually don’t drink) 😀

      Like

  31. I love those photos – especially the one where the morning sun turns the building in the distance into red. — Sandy
    PS I stay up late too. There’s something about the peacefulness of night hours that helps me think more clearly.

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    • Thank you very much, Sandy. Both photos are actually sunsets, but my caption is definitely misleading. I will be more careful next time.

      I always imagined you were a late sleeper. I think more clearly at night too. Less noise, less distractions, we hear our own voice in our heads more clearly.

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  32. Sleeping is such an important and integral part of life, we many times take it for granted and ignore it’s importance and stretch ourselves beyond our limits…we have accepted and have got adjusted by our body, but it has a lasting impact in case we keep stretching and pressing it.

    Today’s lifestyle and food habits continue to have a impact on our health, physical exercise is a must to counter the negatives, but it is not sufficient to mitigate the potential risk on life…in fact a good sleep is considered to a wonderful antidote to the ills that may grip our good health…

    It is said 7-8 hrs is required to de-stress ourselves and keep ourselves prepared and ready to face the daily grind and the onslaught of life’s pressure and expectations…discipline in sleep is equally important if we are not able to adhere to the 7-8 hrs routine, we need to be fairly regular on time which is equally vital and statistically proven by experts from medical fraternity.

    happy sleeping, of course after a good work and little bit of physical exercise…keeps our mind and body healthy.

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    • So true, Nihar. We do take sleep for granted, rushing here and there chasing the next big thing, which sometimes is illusive to us. I read somewhere that sleep is quintessential to life. The more we tempt our bodies with less sleep, the more we live a little dangerously, to put it quite crudely.

      “discipline in sleep”. Very well put. As we age, our body becomes less flexible and we lose some of the energy from our youth. The less we sleep as we get older, the more prone we are to falling sick and doing a lot of damage to our bodies. It’s something that is always at the back of my mind. However, if I sleep early and don’t write as much as I like, I feel emotionally dissatisfied. Something’s got to give.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rightly put; sleep is quintessential to life…we can play around and stretch the limit of sleep when we are young, we care less and we tend to take it for granted but with age it has to be given its due share…without the right quantum of sleep, the body won’t support the mind..

        The question is what amount of sleep is right, though it varies from doctors to experts, but a certain amount of quality sleep on a regular basis is essential…we get carried away to write more as we are in a right frame of mind and we keep churning out the words without mindful of the stress we are putting of body into.

        Yes, there has to a fair give and take in life, and sleeping is no exception, in fact it is very important part of our living…

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  33. I’m a bit of an owl too but during winter I tend to be wrapped up in bed by 11 to keep those colds and flus away! I definitely function best studying into the night with a mug of coffee next to me. I think it’s because it’s silent outside and you know you’re alone and can achieve anything in the peace. Very inspirational! I definitely do need my 7/8 hours though because I don’t like relying on caffeine during the day 🙂

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    • Actually, that is a good reason why people sleep early in winter – to keep warm and avoid catching a cold! Sometimes in winter I feel unwell up late at night, cold. But when I get into bed under the blankets, I feel much better 😀

      Very wise of you not to rely too much on caffeine in the day. Maybe you might want to switch the coffee for tea at night…don’t want you to not be able to sleep after a late night mug of coffee 😉

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  34. i’m night owl myself. i used to work a rotating shift, where sometimes i started work at 7 am, and finished at 7pm, other times i worked at 7 pm, and finished at 7 am. since i feel more awake and creative at night, i naturally prefer the night shift … but i will say that it’s not naturally, because everybody, regardless of who you are, begins to crash around the 3-4 a.m. hour. It really is the worst. and then driving home after a 12 hour night shift… dangerous.

    although i get by on 6 hours of sleep on a daily basis, its certainly not healthy nor preferred. research shows that we all need at least 8 hours of sleep. when they did studies on students who pulled all nighters, compared to students who slept a full night’s rest, the results showed that students who slept did better. the speculation is that the brain processes continues to work in the night, most likely during REM cycles.

    meaning.. you and i should probably get more sleep! =D

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    • Those 12-hour shifts sound long and hard, especially trying to perk yourself up when the sun is about to rise to finish the last legs of your shift.

      Sleep not only recharges us physically, but mentally as well – maybe many students with a good night sleep have sharper minds the next morning to make wiser decisions on their exams.

      I slept at 3am last night and woke up just before 7am, stressing over decisions. I felt my body crashing at 3pm in the afternoon. More sleep, please…

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  35. Oh Mabel, I can totally relate to this one. There’s much honour in my community in sleeping little and late – sometimes it’s almost like a race. More so if you’re out partying, and the early sleepers are often shamed. I used to sleep super late or nearly not at all, but the older I get the more important sleep has become. I now value sleep more because it directly relates to my health, and how I look. Youth and metabolism used to cure my dark circles and refresh my skin even with a mere 2-3 hours shut-eye – sadly, I can’t say the same anymore! But I too used to like the nocturnal quiet and believed it helped much with the writing and creativity.

    There’s no good or bad in sleeping too little – it’s believed Einstein himself slept as little as 4 hours a night and it didn’t impede on his brilliance. But I also adhere to the Chinese thinking of balance and ‘chi’; that sleep restores the internal organs and helps the body function at peak performance.

    Food for thought (no. 4 relates to sleep): http://www.brainpickings.org/2013/10/23/7-lessons-from-7-years/

    Happy new year 🙂

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    • “the older I get the more important sleep has become” Spot on. I am certainly feeling how you are feeling about sleep. Last night I went to bed at 3am stressing over things and woke up before 7am, and my eyes felt like they were burning all day and almost dozed off in my chair at 3pm. A few years ago, younger me was fine….

      Youth cured your dark circles. Wow 😀

      I’ve always been interested in the idea of chi. Keep life as simple and uncluttered possible, have a bit of a routine to feel comfortable and that helps in staying on top of things – “pockets of stillness in life” 😉

      Happy New Year to you too. Have a good one!

      Liked by 1 person

  36. I think I got tired just from reading your post!! XD
    I can relate to the staying up lateーwhen I was working for a Japanese company I wouldn’t finish work until 10-11pm, and then I’d be back at work at 10 the next day (not including commuting time!), so I can do it because I don’t want my life to only be work, but I much prefer going to bed earlier.
    Not 9pm early, but 10:30 maybe? And then I get up at 5-6am the next morning. That would be my ideal schedule! Unfortunately, since my husband works long hours and I want to see him while I’m conscious, I end up staying up later, sleeping fitfully and then waking up groggy, whether I’m up early or late. ^^;
    But sleeping problems aside, I think I’m very dependent on light for my daily routine to work. In Sweden we have loooong days in summer–those times I sleep maybe 5-6 hours max, but am still completely energized. While in winter, I’m basically permanently groggy, haha! It’s mostly also because it’s cold and I’m a baby, don’t want to get up. ;P

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    • Grrr it posted before I could finish… slippery fingers.

      Anyway, I was saying I would go to sleep at 1 am and wake up around 9 am. 🙂

      Great post.

      Oh and thank you for stopping by my blog.

      Like

  37. That’s Asians for ya. Squeezing as much $$ out of their business day (and night) as they can. In Eastern medicine, 11 pm to 3 am is Liver Time so ideally we should be out like the lights by 10 pm so the liver can go to work, restore and clean blood, do its janitorial work.

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  38. A very interesting post this Mabel! I am by nature a night owl too, feeling a ‘second wind’ coming on in the later hours, but this isn’t good if I then toss and turn all night due to worry, my biggest enemy. I am trying to go to bed earlier as hubby is an early riser and needs earlier nights for his busy and long work day ahead. Aspie daughter is practically nocturnal, but that is a whole other story and post 😉 I do feel more productive at night though and have never been one of those people who leap out of bed in the morning feeling refreshed and ready to go…quite the opposite in fact, ha o_O I was always amazed when I lived in America how early people went to bed. I knew several who went at 8 or 9pm!! But they were up at 5 am, going to the gym and all sorts before going to work. Then they finished at 3 and ate dinner at 5. I would ask them the same question as your friend of you…how do they do it? Many restaurants were closed by 9pm. Here, a lot of people don’t even start dinner until 9 or 10pm, although that would be more common on a weekend. Perhaps in some cases, it is a cultural thing as you have pointed out. I find it fascinating! Great post 🙂 ❤

    Like

    • Worrying is certainly a frustrating enemy. It sneaks up on us when we least expect it and stays around for no definitive time. But good to hear that you are going to bed earlier and actually achieving it. Maybe some people go early to bed because of the weather – cool weather – or they are afraid of things going bump at night, bump in their faces if they stay up late 😉

      Wow. I didn’t know many of you had dinner over there that late (another story for another day!), which would mean you’d sleep later. Sleeping on a full stomach isn’t comfortable, at least for me. Good luck writing at night, Sherri. I am sure whether writing early or late in the night, you’d get some creative juices flowing 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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