ornithology in sleepers

So once again I wrote a post that I am not using.

This time it’s because I realize it’s probably not all that appropriate. It was about how yesterday went at church and some of my ideas about how to deal with the situation next year… people absent, late and the overlapping of educational programs with pregame rehearsal forcing people to choose between them. Whippy skippy. 

Brain Rule #7 is “Sleep Well, Think Well.” (from John Medina’s book, “Brain Rules,” that I keep mentioning in this blog.) Interestingly Medina quotes researchers who determine that 1 per cent of the population is comfortable rising around 5 AM and doing its best thinking before noon. They are referred to as “larks.”

(Musical side note: I also read yesterday that Messiaen uses the call of the lark in one of the movements of his Pentecost Mass for Organ. Fascinating. Fascinating. Right?)


About 2 per cent of the population are the late sleepers who think better in the evening or late afternoon. They are referred to as “owls.”

Most of the population are “hummingbirds” and are somewhere between these. 

Medina says owls have the worst of it because our society is not generally set up for them to sleep in and stay up. Also that these patterns change with age and other conditions. 

He envisions a time when we can determine which category we are most likely to be in by a blood test. Then educators and employers could group people by sleep type for more effective brain work. Cool idea.

He says that universally, people’s brains wind down around siesta time in the afternoon.

Naps are normal. He mentions that LBJ used to stop everything in the afternoon and don pjs and take a nap much to the annoyance of his staff.

But he points out that he was normal to do so. It was the staffers who were out of step with their bodies and their brains.

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0 thoughts on “ornithology in sleepers

  1. i am definitely an owl. By the time i reach my office at 10:30 AM I am dropping off to sleep. So I doze at the desk twice or thrice for 5-10 minute catnaps and by the time it is 3:00 or 4:00 I am ready for action. When I reach home by 6:30 all engines are ready to go…at full tilt. I stay up late till 2:00 Am beyond midnight and even then go to sleep only when I just absolutely have to.

  2. I have lark tendencies myself. I don’t think this is too uncommon in people my age (57). By the way, welcome! Always nice to get comments.

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