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by Jackie Garrett
(Aberdeen, NC, USA)

I am 80 years old and I have had this forever... I can't remember when I didn't have it, I remember I used to scrub my floors and do the wash... all at night when I "came alive." When I have to get up early for something I am so worried that I can't sleep. Then I end up not sleeping at all and then it's Zombie time...Yet when that night rolls around here I am still awake and ready to paint or sew or computer like right now.

The worst part is people don't believe you thinking you are lazy or weird and say "oh you can change its just a habit. Well I have never been able to become a "LARK" I am destined to be an "OWL" for what is left of my life. So finally I found a place to share, with people who understand.

Kevin: Indeed you have Jackie, indeed you have. Remember, if you're going to remain an owl, you do not have to be a *poor* owl. Try to set up a lifestyle for yourself that still lets you get enough sleep, just not at the same time most other people are sleeping. This may take some equipment such as blackout curtains (Amazon), but reducing the amount of "zombie time" can still be done.

Good luck in doing so!


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Jan 25, 2012
My Sympathy NEW
by: Anonymous

Your story rings such bells with me.

Jan 25, 2012
My Sympathy NEW
by: Anonymous

Your story rings such bells with me.

Feb 23, 2012
Night owls NEW
by: Naïssa

Hi Jackie,
I just want to share my sympathy. I read you are 80 years of age... I can't imagine myself wondering so long 'what is wrong with me?'. I'm 37 years old and I have been asking myself for years that I was crazy. I too find it difficult to cope with the judgement of others that we are lazy and that it is all a matter of discipline.
I hope you have made peace with our shared condition and that you now may find joy in the night.
Best wishes and good luck!

Mar 05, 2012
Another owl, but sometimes wannabe lark. NEW
by: Bonnie

Dear Jackie, I'm 68 & have had this sleep delayed onset for most of my life. I've always loved the QUIET of the night, but have many memories of cleaning, baking, sewing, painting (furniture) & reading (my favorite!) late, late, late at night.

While I was still working, this was a hellish struggle. I'd been diagnosed w/depression & numerous other conditions, but noticed that after nine hours sleep & a nap, that I was cheerful (not indicative of depression). The last few years I worked, I kept getting more and more chronic illnesses & was put on more and more medications. I'm guessing at least 50% of my 'problem' is just not fitting in with most of the world. So glad to hear I'm not the only 'Sr.' with this issue.

Mar 21, 2014
Can empathize..... NEW
by: Perkdiggity

I am so happy to have found this forum. I am 45 and have been dealing with my unconventional sleep pattern for most of my life. Like so many others have noted, I am my most vibrant and productive in the middle of the night. I have for the most part been able to structure my life so that I am able to sleep from 4am til noon, which is my perfect time. I recently graduated with highest honors with degrees in both accounting and computer science. I was able to complete my degrees by taking evening and online courses, which allowed me to do the majority of my course work during the wee hours.

Despite what I see as clear evidence to the contrary, i still have to deal with some people insisting that I am lazy! How incredibly ridiculous! After reading so many messages, it is clear that I am not the only "lazy" yet highly productive owl out there! Hearing how psychologically damaging all of this judgement has been to some of you really pisses me off. How dare the "first shift" crowd pile their uninformed judgements on us just because we are different! We should all become more militant about what is clearly natural for us!

On a more practical level, I find myself happiest when I can work second shift or in a deadline rather than fixed hours type position. I am currently working as an accountant. I am able to schedule my client meetings in the late afternoon or evening and spend the wee hours doing the actual work. When clients request an earlier meeting time I just tell them I am already booked and suggest a later time. They are none the wiser that I am really snoozing peacefully in my blackout curtained nest while they are hitting their first coffee break of the day! I hope to find a position in programming that allows me to work at home so I can set my own schedule the majority of the time.

There are many suggested treatments to try to "cure" this disorder. I wish the best to those of you who are desperate to find a cure for yourself. Aside from the criticism of those that don't understand, I am perfectly fine with my "shifted" schedule. I find the middle of the night soooo incredibly peaceful. The added bonus is I always feel super busy and popular trying to fit a day's worth of errands and socializing into the afternoon/early evening hours! I may call lunch what my friends call dinner, but sharing a meal is social either way. Then they go to bed and I get to work!

Best wishes all. I hope you are able to find a life that fulfills you in every way.

Nov 04, 2022
I am a night nurse!
by: Kat

I am 65 and have been a night owl my whole life. As a result I am tired most of the time, except for the years I worked permanent nights and it was slightly acceptable to sleep during the day. I was usually the perkiest nurse on the night shift, and I never drank coffee! My grandmother, and Aunt had the same condition. I do my best work at night…I love the dark, the quiet, the lack of people. I have always wanted to write…I can’t think of a better occupation for someone like me!

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