The Nighttime is the Right Time—or is it?
January 10, 2012
Waking up for work before the sun is insulting. Speaking of the sun, why do we work during the day anyway? I understand people waking with the sun, or just before back in the days of hunting and gathering. When the light of day arrived, it was annoying, and people began their work for the day. However, why haven’t we changed? Electricity and a global economy should enable the world to work on whatever clock it wants. Earth is becoming customized. Pretty soon, we’ll see sparkly Hello Kitties adorning the continents from satellite images. The moon will eventually be sold off, piece by piece, tattooed with advertisements for sport drinks and diamonds. Why is the world, or at least the US addicted to a diurnal work schedule?
People are afraid of change. I know I am, thus my fear of losing my individuality by conforming to this diurnal lifestyle. I’ve swum against the stream since my birth, and I’m exhausted. In my baby book, my mother wrote, “1/8/73 For the first 2 weeks, Dina was turned around– slept days and awake nights. Just horrible! Mom and I turned her around, but she is still awake from 10pm-2am. Last night I let her cry and she went to sleep after about 3 minutes of crying. I had not let her cry before.” She went on to write about her success in converting me to the diurnal world. “5/30/73- [Dina] slept after 7pm feeding. Finally off the 10pm.” I find it interesting that my mother forced me to be diurnal when she vehemently decries parents who force their children to become right-handed when they are clearly lefties. Being sinistrad is unusual, just as being nocturnal (although I asked several coworkers today if they were nocturnal or diurnal, and the room was almost split). Sinstrad children receive left-handed scissors–you remember, the green ones?–so why aren’t nocturnal children provided with a schedule that suits their needs?
Last night I set a goal. I was going to wake up with the tide. At 5:45, the non-soothing sounds of the ocean began, and I immediately stood up in my slippers, walked into the bathroom, and brushed my teeth in one fluid motion. I was in agony. I slept fitfully, awakened by dreams of driftwood carved into tablets that I couldn’t read, a contestant on a game show I couldn’t win. The nighttime is definitely the right time, but seeing it from the other side, waking up in the night, in the dark is depressing and spirit crushing. Plus, I didn’t have an appropriately upbeat playlist on my phone to inspire me to carry on. So I listened to the mellow sounds of “Landslide” and “Tangerine” while washing the despair right out of my hair, but it clung. Rinsing and repeating offered no solace.
Thank the stars for Diet Pepsi. Ice to the top, in a curvy Rainforest Cafe’ bar glass housed my cola of the gods. Sure the caffeine helps, but the sharp bubbles remind me I’m alive. Work was miserable, as usual. The morning is unkind to middle school children who are supposed to get at least 10 hours of sleep, but they never do. Beginning the day at 7:30 for them is diametrically opposed to their nature. They barely hold their heads above the wave of sleep rolling through the classroom, cresting over the desks, and crashing in their empty eyes. Huh? Exactly.
The next major hurdle will be to continue the snooze boycott until the unthinkable–setting my alarm for a Saturday when I have nothing planned, nowhere to be. I wonder if Star Trek will feel the same in the pre-noon hours?