I took a quiz years ago to determine whether I was a Night Owl or Morning Lark (aka night person or morning person). I am aware that you don't need to take a quiz to know this, but it was the first time I'd even given the matter any thought.
The results of the quiz indicated that I was a Night Owl. It's true, I was and still kind of am, though there were some contradictions. I remember that back in university, I did my best analytical and problem-solving work from about 6AM to 2PM. This time was also best for writing essays. Any work accomplished after this time was icing on the cake. When it came to cramming (ahem....reading), I could do that anytime or as the situation demanded (e.g. last-minute studying for a test that I'd forgotten all about).
Starting my professional life coerced me into getting up hours before I was truly ready. I had to be up by a certain time (usually between 5.30 to 7AM) in order to get to the office by the time demanded by my employer. Initially this meant that I'd be in bed by 10.30PM. It wasn't long though before my night owl ways pushed my bedtime later and later until I was regularly hitting the sack (where did this expression come from, BTW?) by 2AM. Needless to say, I was NOT the most productive employee on these days and was no Little Miss Sunshine either (apologies to my much perkier colleagues, past and present).
This weekend, a late Saturday night up meant that I caught up on much-needed sleep on Sunday afternoon into the evening, and the result is that I'm now wide awake at 4.16AM with work to prepare for in a couple of hours. Should I even bother sleeping?
In my ideal world, employers would ask whether you were a morning or night person when they hire you, in order to set a schedule that is in sync with your most productive hours. See, I'm up now and could get so much work done. I could write letters, respond to emails, proof-read documents and work on proposals. I could sleep by 5AM, wake-up by 11AM and be in the office by 1PM. Sounds perfect to me! Employers, please take note.