Late Sleeper? You're Not Lazy, Just ... Different

The world is designed for morning people, which can be difficult for those with a different internal clock.

Most of our daily lives revolve around the ability to go to bed sometime between 10 and midnight and wake up between 6 and 8 every weekday. But what about people who naturally fall asleep at 3 a.m. and wake up at noon? Are they lazy and unproductive? That's what many of us are inclined to think, but as it turns out, that's simply not the case, reports Vox.

We all run on an internal clock that regulates our sleep schedule, but not all of our clocks are the same. Our circadian schedules are determined by genetics and so are hard to change. Each of us has a unique chronotype, which is the inclination to sleep at a particular time during a 24-hour period.

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People who have the night-owl chronotype typically won't be able to fall asleep until 2 or 3 a.m. and don't wake up until around noon. But they have to deal with the stigma associated with late risers.

Cassidy Solokis from Arizona State University, who has delayed sleep phase, told Vox, "People have mocked me for it, saying how lazy I am, that I'm not trying hard enough, and that really bothers me, because it's not my fault. I'm really, really trying, and it's just not working."

Some groups advocate for changing the way society functions and to be more accepting and inclusive of people who have delayed sleep phase. One organization, B-Society, is trying to get more work places to allow for altered hours. Early risers should come in at 7 if they want to and leave at 3, but the delayed sleepers should be able to come in at 10 and finish at 6.

"Just by changing your schedule by an hour or two, it can result in having more sleep, higher productivity," Camilla Kring from B-Society said.

It makes sense to allow for more flexible work hours. People are more productive when they're most awake and mentally alert. While most companies don't offer that type of flexibility, the Internet and the ability to work from anywhere are bringing us a little bit closer to making late-risers socially acceptable.