Rise & Shine
Wednesday, January 29th, 2020
I would be lying if I said I have been a morning person my entire life. Years ago, on my free days you could normally catch me waking up when the day was halfway over and grumpy because I did not like being awake before 11 am. Since I have shifted my perspective on mornings, I have become a “morning enthusiast”. I love waking up before the sun comes up and watching it rise. It is a calming beginning to my day and puts my mind in a positive perspective. Within my age group, it seems I am in the minority of those who enjoy waking up in the mornings. This sparked an idea about a blog, hence this post. I was intrigued to learn about the fundamental differences between an early riser and a night owl. My findings are interesting, and I wanted to share them with you all!
Our lives are centered around three different clocks which include a solar clock, biological clock, and the circadian clock. Circadian cycles or rhythm are bodily changes that occur within a 24-hour cycle. “Morningness-eveningness (also known as circadian typology or chronotype) is an individual difference that explains variations in the rhythmic expression of biological and behavioral patterns. It is associated with many circadian rhythms–common biological variables such as body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and hormone levels that display a definite periodicity with a cycle length of 24 hours”. (Nimrod) The trigger for this cycle is the sunlight and night fall, this tells our body when it is time to rise and sleep. The reason why these cycles are so important is because it will affect our brain chemistry and how we react throughout the day. Typically, morning people do not function well when night time comes, and the night owls are the exact opposite. While we could have guessed that, and probably had some personal experience with it, it is amazing to see the science prove it!
Many of the journals that I shifted though mention the correlation between morningness and genetics. This implies that you are a morning or a night person from birth but there are opposing theories that note it depends on social and environmental situations. There is not a direct answer, but they all relate back to a person’s circadian cycle. For example, when teenagers age into adulthood this typically triggers a morningness shift or tends to prefer the morning time.
An interesting note that I read had to do with a person’s exposure to sunlight can cause a shift into an opposing rising time. This would make sense in my case since I grew up in Florida, so I was constantly exposed to sunlight. I am curious to see if the winter weather in Tennessee will change that tendency of mine and change me into a night owl again! Hopefully I will continue to be an early riser and use this for my benefit in the interpreting profession. Being an early riser has come in handy when it comes to some of the assignments that I have observed, as some of them had an early start time and were not close to my house! Though I cannot pick my schedule, I did let VCI know that I am a morning person who does not work well at night! It is vital to know your circadian clock to understand how you will flourish in your profession, and when it is the best time to work so you can produce the best content.
Nimrod, G. (2015). Early birds and night owls: differences in media preferences, usages, and environments. International journal of communication [Online], 133+.
Links to other Academic Journals (if you’re interested)
Written by VCI Intern, Alexandra Davis