Afternoon Inqueery

AI: Sleep Schedules

It’s between class sessions for me (summer classes ended, fall semester hasn’t started) and my job is very flexible. I can pretty much work whatever time of day I prefer. This lack of structure generally results in me becoming nocturnal nearly immediately, reverting to my natural night-owl behavior within a week of classes ending.

I am going to have to return to sleeping at night when classes restart and that is never fun. I strongly prefer to go to bed when the sun is coming up, but I since my school doesn’t have a third shift class option, I’ll be stuck heading off to class fairly early in two weeks.

What is your natural sleep cycle? Are you a night owl like me, or do you function best during the day? Do you need to work against your body’s natural rhythm most of the time to function in the world?

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Benny Vimes

Benny Vimes

Benny Vimes is a queer polyamorous transman, curious skeptic, and enthusiastic seeker of knowledge. He's an undergraduate student in his 30's and loves teaching people about alternative sexuality and gender issues.


  1. August 14, 2012 at 1:34 pm —

    If I need to (work, school, other obligations) I can shift my sleep schedule to whenever. I’ve also had to work in conditions where sometimes I’ll be working for days on end and have to catch whatever sleep I can in trucks between actually working, but that’s pretty taxing for me. Left to my own devices I always stay up all night and sleep during the day though. I think there should be a night option for the rest of us, where everything functions like normal but phased twelve hours.

  2. August 14, 2012 at 3:23 pm —

    I tend to be most functional from about noon to midnight, so I don’t do mornings. I’m also not working due to health issues so I am able to set my schedule my way. Lastly, I find falling back off of daylight savings time really fucks me up; since I’m not working I stay on DST year round and ignore the time changes – that way there is daylight while I’m awake and dark for more of my sleep time.

    So I’d definitely say I’m more nocturnal than many people, but not totally so – I need sunlight too.

  3. August 14, 2012 at 3:50 pm —

    If I didn’t have work demands, I’d probably sleep between 1am and 9am or so. I’m usually up around 9:30 on the weekends.

    I guess I do fight the schedule, since I habitually drink two cups of coffee (~20oz) every morning.

  4. August 14, 2012 at 4:59 pm —

    I’m jealous of all of you- I don’t have anything resembling a consistent sleep cycle. Some nights I’m out by 10 pm and still drowsy come morning, other nights I will be up two or three times during the wee hours and be fine the next day. A wide and disconcerting variety of other combinations have shown up, as well, without rhyme or reason. It’s never quite bad enough that it has prevented me from living a full and happy life- it’s just one of those little annoyances that I have learned to live with.

  5. August 14, 2012 at 11:59 pm —

    My sleep schedule is pretty much that I go to sleep when I get tired. So today, I got up at 10AM. I’ll probably go to bed at, say, 2AM. Get up at 10.30. Go to bed at 4. Get up at 1. Go to bed at 6. And so on.

    It’s a pain in the ass.

  6. August 15, 2012 at 2:54 am —

    My ideal cycle is going to bed just as dawn is breaking, to wake up around noon/early afternoon. Mornings suck and I’d love to be able to just sleep through them, but while I have a fair amount of schedule flexibility as a PhD student, everyone likes to schedule meetings in the morning.

    I love the night, and I resist going to bed even when already tired/sleep-deprived, just to be conscious for more of it.

    • August 16, 2012 at 8:27 pm —

      I’m the same. No matter how tired I am during the day, if I’m up past a certain hour, my brain just starts acting like it’s a new day and I have all this energy to expend at 2 AM.

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