The early bird really does get the worm, and is less susceptible to depression, and malaise.
My friend once told me, "You gotta get up and show up for life." This was the same friend who would show up at my door, completely showered and dressed by 10AM on a Saturday morning when we were teenagers. The same one who believes "working from home," is a recipe for failure. "You gotta at least have an outside location as your office," She'd say.
I remember my dad always reiterating that old saying, "The early bird gets a worm," to me. He would get up every morning at 5AM, run 5 miles, then get ready and leave the house by 6:30 AM to catch the train to be at work in 7:30AM, returning home by 7PM and in bed by 11PM. Diligently for at least 35 years. Both are extremely successful individuals. I had a client once who told me, that as a writer, I should leave the house, go to a coffee shop, for the best, unadulterated writing. I found him to be correct.
I have this theory, that people who stay up late and sleep in late tend to be less productive in their lives and less engaged with the world and then in turn are less likely to be fulfilled. Not to mention, let's just admit it, staying at home in your pajamas doesn't make you feel quite as engaged, now does it.
I mean, it obviously depends on your goals, but studies have show that being productive and engaged leads to feelings of happiness and fulfillment.
I have always desired, strived for and wanted a lifestyle, less driven by the 9 to 5, and more committed to art, culture and entrepreneurship and independence. To that end, I even went through a phase, or perhaps I got waylaid, by this concept, which I now believe is false, that more creative people are night owls and that staying up until 3AM in pursuit of art and creativity and sleeping in until 10 or 11 was a sign of an artist. Yes, an unfulfilled artist perhaps. As a writer I do my best writing after 8 hours of sleep at 8AM. And to be true, too many of these so called artists are not exactly creating art at 1 and 2 in the morning, but are rather forcing themselves awake by virtue of chasing the next video game, the last call at the bar, the late night movie or something that is not sustainable, and not productive in the long term.
I know it is romantic and glamorous, the night life,the night owl, and to be a tortured artist, but to be productive and successful you really do need to get to bed at a decent hour, and get up at by 8. I always have and I always will believe this. And the lifestyle which I desire, to be independent and sort of more in charge of my world is clearly a desire for me to work for myself, and not to be beholden to someone else's schedule. Just because I despise the 9 to 5, doesn't mean I will also need to stay up late and sleep late.
Now, I am not suggesting that we work our fingers to the bone. Nor am I saying that I necessarily agree with the sometimes seemingly excessive hard working standards of our culture all the time. I am also not necesarily a proponent of slaving away for someone else, or brown nosing, I am suggesting however that you get up, get out of bed, get dressed, eat breakfast, etc and Show Up For Life! I am suggesting working smarter, being more focused and being present. I am suggesting being active, and being productive. Seeking joy and doing what you love. It's a little well known fact that getting enough sleep is healthy.
Studies have suggested that getting a good night's rest helps strengthen our immune systems, and decreases the likelihood of physical and mental ailments. Getting to bed by 10PM is strongly suggested and waking 8 hours later, would put us at 6AM, helps us make the most of our health and our days. Let's face it, these are in sync with the circadian rhythms of our bodies, not to mention follow the day cycle of the sun. It's no wonder that places which don't see the sun for 4-6 months out of the year (think Alaska) have higher rates of suicide, and drug use/abuse as with places like Seattle and Ireland, which although see the sun are often dark and gray. There has also been a study to suggest that while we sleep we are developing those very skills we need to survive, in our dreams. If we deprive ourselves of dreams then, we are less likely to succeed in our worlds. When we go to sleep at 2 or 3AM we don't necesarily have as restful as sleep, even if we sleep 8 hours.
The hours before midnight are also key to having restorative sleep for better health, body and mind. Naturopathic doctor, Dr. Patti Kim says, "The hours before midnight are worth two hours of sleep."
The night owl is an excuse I hear all too often. And, I don't see the harm in staying up late once in a while, especially for kids in their early to mid 20's. Burning the midnight oil is common in college and grad school, and many young people need to stay up late in the early days of career development, social life and developing their identity. There is even some evidence that suggests staying up all night, every now and then can cure depression.
I am referring to in general. Those who get to bed late and sleep in late on a regular if not daily basis, who have irregular sleep schedules and who do not get up and seize their day on a regular basis are more susceptible to malaise and mental maladies such as depression, fatigue and physical and mental exhaustion and are less likely to handle stress or to have the chops in place, so to speak, to conquer their world. You've got to get up, get dressed and show up. Every day. It will make you feel better, stronger and more equipped to handle stress. It will make you feel more productive, and chances are you will sleep better. If all these are place, I can almost guarantee you a happier more meaningful existence.