I’ve always said I’m a night owl and that I like staying up late. When I was a teenager it was exciting to exercise new freedoms, staying out late with friends when adults seemed to be heading in, and when I got older it worked well when visiting clubs—especially for concerts and live music—but also when I was playing in bands myself. Staying up late, being out late, even working at night has become a part of my identity.
But a new thought about this late-nightness has been percolating: am I addicted to staying up late? Do I have a healthy relationship with it, or has it sort of taken over my life and interfered with it? I’m not sure I want to talk about this anymore…just kidding…sort of.
Here are some other scenarios I’ve been considering:
- I can’t remember having a bed time growing up, so maybe I just didn’t learn healthy boundaries with sleep?
- I’m more towards the nocturnal end of the spectrum, perhaps part of some evolutionary step in humankind.
- It’s just “cool” to stay up late and I’m a slave to trying to be cool.
- Once the sun goes down and the kids (and others) go to sleep, it’s Luke Time; time to wrap up loose ends, relax, and usually write.
When I was in college, I often took the late shifts for work (since everyone else seemed to want to sleep) and the after hours were also my time to practice my trumpet or piano. No one was in the practice rooms or recital halls, so I had free reign. Some of my favorite memories from that period are sneaking into the recital hall and playing to the dark, empty seats, or running into other late-nighters, usually music professors, and scaring each other. Now that I think about it though, the later hours really became my creative time.
So I don’t know, maybe I am addicted and need to look at that. Maybe I can figure out how to keep this somewhat sacred time, but just transpose it to when the sun’s still up. Maybe I just need to hold out until the kids are older and then we’ll all be on this schedule AND I’ll get to sleep in. I don’t know. It’s getting late, so…