The Evolution of My Sleeping Pattern

First, I was a night owl.

The clock struck 10:00 p.m. and I was in my bedroom doing my makeup and still making decisions on an outfit, but there was no rush; I still had plenty of time. Everyone else at home was getting into bed and so I gradually lowered the volume of my music as the house grew quieter and quieter. I had tried going to bed early, but found that I couldn’t get comfortable. The possibility of missing out on a fun night drove me crazy. Actually, the thought of others having fun without me drove me even crazier—I had to be there. After numerous failed attempts to fall asleep, I often resorted to calling or texting a friend and planning to meet up somewhere, usually around 11:30 p.m. or midnight. That’s when the day really started anyway, and it usually ended at around 4:00 a.m. or whenever the sky began to glow a golden, yellow-orange. It made more sense to sleep during the day, when the sun’s rays hugged my dehydrated body and kept me warm in my bed. Even when I didn’t go out (which was rare) it just seemed unnatural to be in bed before midnight. There was too much to watch on TV, too much homework to do, too much to talk about, and too much to think about.

Then, I was a lark.

My alarm went off at 4:00 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays it went off at 5:00 a.m. It was still dark and everyone at home was still sleeping, but I was already awake and thinking about breakfast. I usually had eggs, toast, and coffee. Work started at 6:00 a.m., but I tried to be at least ten minutes early to avoid being late (unfortunately, the manager was always late; he was a night owl). Similarly, I tried to be at least half an hour early to school. Technically, I didn’t even need to set an alarm because I was always awake before it went off anyway. There was something about leaving the house early in the morning, taking in a deep breath of fresh air (it seems fresher in the morning, before everyone else has gotten the chance to get up and pollute it) and thinking yeah, I’m gonna get a lot done today. By 7:00 p.m. I was already laying out my clothes for the next day and getting ready for bed. By 8:00 or 8:30 p.m. I was in bed, dozing off. Staying up late made no sense to me anymore and I thought, why did I ever choose to stay up late when mornings are so awesome?

Now, I am…confused.

On some days, I can’t sleep; I am restless. I want to do laundry or re-organize my room when everyone else in my house is going to bed. Then, I wake up at 5:00 a.m. and continue to function normally throughout the day, even though I only slept three hours. On some days, I can’t get enough sleep. I go to bed early, sleep in, and still want even more sleep the next day.

It doesn’t matter what I am.

Whether I am a night owl or a lark is irrelevant because I am a full-time student and I have two jobs. I have to stay up late to finish my homework and I have to wake up early to go to school or work—I am addicted to vanilla lattes.

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