After attempting to alter my life and become diurnal rather than nocturnal, I’ve learned a few things.

  • Diurnal people are annoying when they brag about how much they get done before YOU get out of bed.
  • I act like an 8-year-old when it comes to bedtime.
  • Sleep deprivation has a negative impact on work performance.
  • This experiment is more challenging than I thought.

This was a rough summer for a number of reasons, and I didn’t get to fully realize my goal of being a diurnal person when the chains of work broke.  I HAVE to get up at 5:30 and be at work by 7, so this requires me to wake every morning whether I like it or not.  I was curious to see if I could wake up at 7 or 8, like many diurnals do, without the crutch of an alarm clock.  I wanted to see if I could get up, refreshed, revived, and ready to take on the day like in a breakfast food commercial.   I didn’t get to experiment.

I was up at all times this summer hanging at a rest home, planning a funeral, planning an anniversary party, attending Comic-Con, flying to New York City and Philadelphia.  I set my alarm for almost every morning.  What a drag.  Not only did I neglect the experiment this summer, but I also didn’t really enjoy my time off.  It was functional, as in, “I’m glad I had this time off so I could take care of all of this stuff.”  But sleep still taunts me night after night.  I still fantasize about going to sleep immediately after returning each night from work.  I still drag my corpulent body out of bed in the morning and depend on the shower to bring me to life.

I just read that nocturnal people are actually more evolved than diurnal people since the world is a now a global community working 24 hours a day.  The article also said that nocturnal people are typically more intelligent…but also die younger, tend to not procreate, and have bad eating habits.  Yep, more evolved.  That’s me.  The experiment/torture continues.

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The experiment began in January.  It has epically failed.  I tried to become a diurnal, but have come up short…by countless hours and dark circles surrounding my bloodshot eyes.  Yes, I am waking up earlier on school days.  Yes, I am getting to work on time.  Yes, I am getting more done in the morning.  But this doesn’t negate my infinite power burst just after 4 in the afternoon, causing me to stay working at school until seven. 

I am now teaching at a high school.  I have to learn a new curriculum.  New staff.  New demographic.  But I still desperately fight going to sleep at a decent time.  Why are others able to function on so much less sleep than I am?  Why can others go to events on the weekends and  not feel as if they are being ripped off of time they could spend sleeping in, laying on the couch, catching up on “Trueblood,” “The Daily Show,” and “White Collar”?  How do people maintain a social life AND get enough sleep? 

I am mentally, emotionally, intellectually, and physically exhausted from my first two weeks teaching at high school, and yet, I feel compelled to write this blog rather than go to sleep.  I’ve had two glasses of wine and two Clonozopams, and I am still motivated to stay up past midnight.  In my current mindset, I am thinking, “suck it diurnals.”  I plan on sleeping until at least 2 pm, and watching TV all day.  Damn, aren’t I the intellectual?