Throughout my teenage years and university years, I didn’t get out of bed before lunchtime if I didn’t have a decent reason.
Then in my early twenties, I became into personal development. Version 1 of my personal development ethic was very directly focused on ‘efficiency’ and ‘productivity’ – so never allowing myself to “waste” time, no fun activities which don’t contribute to a further personal or social goal (so no video gaming, little TV, not much Web surfing for true leisure), never turning down any social or experiential opportunity at all no matter how exhausting, and so on. (I kind of absorbed self-help instructions intended for the corporate executive, or only for people with truly freakish levels of nervous energy.)
I accumulated many wonderful experiences and achievements during this part of my life, but there were major side-effects for my energy and health of such a harsh growth regime. and I stopped a while ago feeling that I want to continue to approach my life in such a neurotic way. Note during this period, I had turned myself for the first time into a totally morning person. I often didn’t get enough sleep, more or less losing the ability to sleep in, and there were issues with the quality of the sleep I did get.
So, more recently I have been perfecting ‘version 2’ of my personal development ethic, which is substantially LESS focused on trying to keep myself busy or ‘achieving something’ every minute of every day of every year. After intentionally making large changes to my life circumstances, I am now under much less stress, and I have not kept on quite such a wide range of social obligations as I had before, although I have lovely good friends right here. My spiritual awareness has improved significantly, and I am reconnecting with my childhood love of intellectual, introverted, sometimes geeky activity. My wellbeing has been feeling generally much better in recent times. I am not straining to accumulate experiences quite so neurotically, but they still seem to be coming to me, and now I feel there is a superior quality to the experiences I am having.
Oh, and I’m also tending to stay up late more often, doing highly enjoyable things late at night. I am then often getting up much later, feeling relaxed before and after I get out of bed. It’s just kind of happened that way recently.
Obviously it’s always highly difficult to isolate the effect of one factor when you’ve made multiple changes, but I’m interested in other people’s perspectives. Is it actually better for personal growth and development, for some people, to stay up late, love sleep and not do mornings?
Well either way, I don’t think you should ever bum yourself out thinking you’re not meeting some kind of expectation. I used to actually get upset if my day wasn’t as productive or eventful as I felt I wanted it to be. Then one day someone said something like this is just a period of my life that I should appreciate for what it is and even be proud that some days/weeks nothing happens at all. I wish I could quote him exactly, but it was a few years ago and I’ve had a very zen outlook on how I spend my time since then.
As for the morning thing, I’ve had insomnia for as long as I can remember, and I’ve given up on early mornings a long time ago. The only way I can get a solid 8 hours rest is if I completely exhaust my mind first, which I’m usually up until 4am doing. Then I fall asleep within minutes and have a heavy, dreamy sleep that I feel pretty refreshed from, despite waking after noon. I don’t have a very demanding schedule, though, so I suppose I take advantage of this lack of routine. I haven’t noticed anything different between my behavior and an early morning person’s, though. I have a lot of fun, focus and my most creative inspirations when it’s very late-night and I feel the world around me is dead asleep.
For me, I view the morning as a brand new start to the day. It’s a brand new day to enjoy life and be thankful I’m here.
I never used to be a morning person, but that changed on its own after I started to live a more spiritualistic life. A lot of things changed, actually. This was just one of them.
Is it required? I would say no, because reality is different for everyone. Views, beliefs, etc., are all subjective. But for me I became a morning person without even doing it consciously. Whatever works for you…that’s all that matters.
I think a lot of us have been having this kind of lifestyle while being a teenager/student, I mean that is part of that time period in your life: clubbing, partying, experimenting, chilling etc. etc.
I think it is not a question of what is ‘better’, being a morning or an evening person, because there are just different type of personalities, and some people are more productive in the evenings, others in the morning.
But, I do kind of have the same philosophy that it is a ‘waste of time’ to wake up late. Our natural rhythm is to go to sleep with sunset and wake up with sunrise. The lives that we have been living in the last century has changed this, leading to these ‘evening’ kind of personalities.