Staying up late, waking up late acceptable to certain extent

May 30, 2018 — by Connie Liang

Scribbling away at my math homework, I turn to my wall clock only to be met with the taunting image of an hour-hand ticking ever so quickly to 12 in the morning. This is a situation I often find myself facing.

The wee hours of the morning are when I usually begin working on assignments I’ve been pushing off, simply because the deadlines of the coming day are even more pressing. This in turn forces me to actually get a grip on my life and get down to business. Great strategy, I know.

As a result, my mom barges into my room at least once a night to remind me that sleeping late will eventually “be the demise of [my] life.”

However, my mom’s reprimands about my naturally being a night owl may not be justified to the extent she makes them out to be.

According to an article from the journal “Personality and Social Differences,” night owls often find more creative solutions to problems. Spanish artist Salvador Dali used to purposefully deprive himself of sleep in order to get his creative juices flowing. Furthermore, after conducting a study on 1,000 students, researchers from the University of Madrid discovered that those who slept and woke up later tended to score higher on inductive reasoning tests than those who didn’t.

So, when I was approached with the idea of staying up late and waking up late for a newspaper story, I was delighted to actually have a reason to defy my mom and fully embrace my inner night-owl.

Expecting the results to support my views, I decided to begin my experiment on the Thursday night before spring break. Forcing my eyes and brain to concentrate on my glowing phone screen, I played the Facebook Messenger game Words with Friends until 1:15 am, and even then, the only reason I stopped was because my opponent fell asleep during her turn.

The next morning, despite getting about six and a half hours of sleep, it was surprisingly easy to focus during my math class, and it wasn’t until about lunch that my attention span began to waver. During chemistry, I worked on the same problem for 20 minutes while the rest of the class forged ahead and completed almost the entire worksheet. The consequences of staying up late had begun to show.

That Friday night, I stayed up once more to about 1 a.m. watching “Breaking Bad” and attempting and failing to study for my SAT Math 2 Test. Waking up at around noon. the next day, I regretted that half the day was gone, yet I felt refreshed as I slept for 11 hours — the most sleep I had gotten in a while.

On the final night of my experiment, I stayed up until 2:30 Facetiming my best friend for three hours. Once more, I woke up at around noon and was even pleasantly surprised at the plate of eggs waiting for me on the counter. Here’s a tip: If you have proven to your family that you are incapable of cooking for yourself, waking up late almost guarantees that they’ll make something for you.

Throughout the duration of this experiment, I arrived to the conclusion that staying up late and waking up late is fine as long as it’s not on a school night: Both my mom and I were right in certain aspects. Unless you’re trying to arrive at school around lunch time (which I seriously considered on Friday), it’s best to sleep earlier.

However, if it’s break or you know you have nothing to do the next morning, staying up to watch one more episode to find out what happens to Jesse Pinkman of “Breaking Bad” isn’t going to kill you. After all, you may just find a plate of eggs waiting for you on the counter.

 

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