Sym­pa­thy for night owls? Pah! I used to be one, but I grew out of it

The Observer - - Comment & Analysis -

Can any­one spare a thought for night owls? Re­search from the Univer­sity of Sur­rey and North­west­ern Univer­sity in the United States found that those late to bed were 10% more likely to die pre­ma­turely, were more prone to an ar­ray of disor­ders and it was un­fair to force them to ad­just to a morn­ing lark world.

If I went back in time, young me would agree. “Yeah,” I’d drawl, slumped, yawn­ing, against the kitchen counter, wrapped in a dirty du­vet, eat­ing white sliced bread straight from the packet. “Re­spect the night owl.”

How­ever, ask me now, as a mid­dle-aged cur­mud­geon and I’d say: “Get up, you lazy freaks!… X%&!!@!!... I’ve al­ready walked the dog and got a child off to school. Big boo and hoo to your pre­cious body clocks!”

While un­proved sci­en­tif­i­cally, this chronic lack of sym­pa­thy con­cern­ing per­sonal sleep al­lowances seems to be at its most ap­par­ent when a new baby ar­rives, with com­pet­i­tive sleep de­pri­va­tion be­tween crazed, des­per­ate cou­ples ru­moured to spoil ap­prox­i­mately 100% of at­tempted lie-ins.

So, sorry, night owls, in the real bru­tal world of sleep rage and snooze envy, no one is go­ing to care much about your kip­ping rights.

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