An Open Letter to Day People

Even though it really has nothing whatsoever to do with the content of this post, please enjoy It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s “Day Man” – I’ll just feel better knowing you’ve recently watched it.

Now that we’ve covered that, let’s talk about day people and night people.

Dear day people,

I like mornings, I really do. But you won’t find me in one very often. I don’t wake up early. And it’s not that I can’t wake up on time, it’s that I have the wrong temperament. Mornings, in my mind, are for cheerful people. I am not “cheerful people.” I’m loud, and I laugh a lot (actually, it’s more of a cackle), which results in my sometimes being mistaken for cheerful, but ultimately I’m just not. Night time, on the other hand, is for snarky people. People who use heroin, and who enjoy the rain. Drink black coffee. And wear fingerless gloves (even though their fingertips are subsequently quite cold). Yes, night time, is the right time for snark. And that’s where I live, in the dank, snarky night.

Because I don’t interact with day people all that much, since we’re only awake for about three hours of overlap each day, my imagination has created a day people mystique, which I think is starting to create a false dichotomy for me. I imagine day people to be extraordinarily well put together folks who handle their sh”¦business and then some. Whereas night people, in my mind are all, well, like me, a smoldering hot mess.

Here’s where you come in, day people, the folks to whom I’ve addressed this open letter, I’m pretty sure there are more of you than there are of us night people, which means most everyone (excepting the obvious: musicians, night shift workers, barkeeps, burlesquers, and mole people) is expected to live on the day plan. And since some of us just don’t manage living on the day plan all that well, we could use your help in educating the rest of the day dwelling public. Also, because, as I said, my imagination has possibly gotten way, way, away from itself and created an idea of each of you day folk as perfectly well put together people (PTPs), I could also use your input on just how wrong (or maybe in some cases right) my guesses about you are.

So here goes, this is how I view the world, broken into two distinct domains, a day people group, and a night people group, illustrated through their approaches to some of life’s simplist tasks and judgment calls:

  1. Day people wake to an alarm or rise naturally with the sun (yes, night people, this is a thing). Night people set an alarm only to ignore it and be eventually roused from sleep by bladder discomfort or hungry, meowling cats.
  2. Day people make coffee. Night people drink burnt coffee left in the pot brewed hours earlier by day people housemates.
  3. Day people eat breakfast foods in the morning, including sometimes stopping at McDonald’s for McMuffins. Night people eat breakfast foods at greasy spoons at 2:50 am. When they awake, there are no breakfast foods to be had. Night people are regularly disappointed that they didn’t make it to McDonald’s before 11 am when they think McDonald’s stops serving breakfast, even though McDonald’s actually stops serving breakfast at 10:30.
  4. Day people shower first thing in the morning. They know how to commit to goals and see them through. They are undaunted by the time and dedication it must take to be perfectly shampooed, conditioned, shaved, moisturized, coiffed, polished, attired, and made-up. Night people shower at night, hitting only the major nooks, or, as is sometimes sadly the case, shower not at all.
  5. Because day people shower in the morning, they blow dry. Because they blow dry, they don’t suffer cowlicks. Night people go to bed on wet heads, and consequently, they suffer cowlicks. Oh how they suffer them.
  6. Day people arrive at work sometime between fifteen minutes early and ten minutes late. Night people consider ten minutes late very early indeed and in some cases have difficulty arriving on time for 11:30 am staff meetings.
  7. If anyone takes vitamins, surely it is day people. Although it is night people who would most benefit from a regular Vitamin D supplement.
  8. Day people exercise regularly. Night people exorcise demons.
  9. Day people say, and may believe, platitudes like, “Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t, you’re probably right.” Night people believe that whether they think they can or can’t Parkour off a twenty foot wall, gravity will likely make the determining call.
  10. Day people are optimists. Night people are realists. Mole people are pragmatists.
  11. Day people resolve on New Year’s Day to give up chocolate or coffee or needless shopping. Night people wake up on January 2nd, that’s it.
  12. Day people wear black because it’s slimming and versatile. Night people wear black because it matches the circles under their eyes.
  13. Day people wear blue because it’s a good color on them and complements those flecks in their eyes. Night people wear black because it matches the circles under their eyes.
  14. Day people spring clean. Night people throw out old pizza boxes when they can no longer find the couch.
  15. Day people will give you a ride to the airport so you can catch a redeye because they really like you and don’t mind staying up past bedtime for a good cause. Night people will give you a ride to the airport so you can catch a redeye because why the feck not, they were up anyway, and not really doing anything much but puttering and wondering why they’re still up.
  16. Day people cry during sad movies and when bad things happen to loved ones. Night people sob because “Rebellion without truth is like spring in a bleak, arid desert,” and shit like that. Being really tired makes people emotional.
  17. Day people are good. Night people are sometimes good.
  18. Day people probably suck sometimes. Night people definitely do.

So day friends, you could really help this night friend out by, a) telling your fellow day people to stop inviting us night people to work out at 6 am; and b) maybe throwing us night people a bone by letting us know that you’re not as perfect as we think you are”¦.please tell me you’re not as perfect as we think you are.

Thanks, buddies! See you at 2 pm, we’ll both likely be awake then.

Yours truly,


13 replies on “An Open Letter to Day People”

I wish I was a day person, but I am just not. I like the dark, I like the quiet, I like solitude. I love driving home late at night because no traffic is the best. Still, I do need to be awake for some daylight hours things, but I am miserable about it. I have my alarm clock across my bedroom so that I have to physically get out of bed to turn it off, and I still hit snooze and fall back asleep at least twice every morning. When I’m no longer a graduate student this is going to be a Serious Problem.

I’ve always been a night person. However, over the past six months, my brain and body, working in tandem against me, have decided that I’m going to be wanting to go to bed around 9 pm. And if I don’t, I feel like I’m not going to be able to function the next day. It’s tragic! I still don’t get up any better than ever, but now I’m missing my wonderful nights spent doing absolutely nothing with my time except reading fanfiction and news and keeping updated with astronomical numbers of youtube videos.

Alas, now my youtube account has stalled around 750 favorites for the past few months, and I no longer have any idea what is happening in the world, except that there’s an election because people won’t shut up about it on facebook. I don’t do any more homework. I don’t wake up any earlier. I’m not any more excited to go to class, or get a job, or be a useful, productive human being. I feel like I’m not a night person or a day person, but I’m hoping that this transition period will eventually make me a day person. My father would be so happy.

I love this!! I’ve had insomnia since I was a small child, so being up at night is nothing new, but I think even if I wasn’t an insomniac I’d be up at night. I can be exhausted to the point of falling asleep standing up at dinner time, but once the sun goes down and I feel the night air… It’s like a magic elixir, suddenly I’m not tired anymore. I drag through the day, but at night I feel more alive. And one of my all time favorite things is sleeping while the sun is up!

As a day person dating a night person, I find this hilarious. It’s all so delightfully true. It also reminds me of a 7 am phone call I made to a night person friend.
“Good morning, sunshine!”
“I am not getting up at 7 am to study with you. You’re insane.”
“Nope, I need you to get up and take me to the emergency room before my kidneys shut down.”

Ha! This is so perfect. I’ve been working FT nights for the past 4+ years. We’re moving soon and I keep telling myself I need to get a day job, because if I get a day job my future self will magically have her shit together.


But in reality, the idea of working days terrifies the ever-loving crap out of me. I’ve always been a night person and I know working days isn’t going to change that. I’ll always procrastinate. Sleep in and take naps. I’ll always cringe when someone says, “good moooorning!” and grumble when someone switches on overhead lights. Washing the nooks when I shower will always suit me just fine and remembering that McD’s stops serving breakfast at 10:30 (because really!?!? 10:30?) will never happen, you’ll find me over at Cracker Barrel instead.

I love the night. I love its quiet, its people (and its lack thereof), its empty roads, and its snark. But its lack of routine is killing me. I feel like my life is passing me by in some blurry haze because shit doesn’t get done at 2am…it just doesn’t. I often look back on the past four years and wonder what the fuck I’ve been doing. And as much as I love the night, I don’t know if I want to be wondering the same thing in another four years down the road. :/

I’m not a night person. By the end of the day, I’m tired from all the stuff I did all day and the people I dealt with. I want to hide in my room with my laptop until I fall asleep. But I can’t quite call myself a Day Person. I have trouble sleeping and my body has a habit of getting up like 1-2 hours earlier than I need to and then not letting me go back to sleep. I’m often agitated during the day until I can get some peace and quiet at night. But then I want to sleep, but I can’t. I wish #4 and 5 were true for me, but I always have to shower at night. And I almost never eat breakfast. I do put on makeup most days though. But I have very bad circles under my eyes.

I am very, very much a night person, and found myself choking on my tea laughing at this list. Particularly the McDonalds. I freaking love McDonalds bagels. The only time I ever see one? If I’m staying with my parents and my dad was on nightshift, because then he pops in on the way home. Sometimes I’m still awake.

I don’t seem to be able to keep to a “normal” sleep schedule either, it always shifts to nocturnal and I find myself wide awake at 4am contemplating the horror of the 9am meetings.

I will do this to an extent, despite myself, too. I KNOW I feel good when I get to wake up at 8 am and veg out before I have to do anything, but I still end up staying up till 2 or 3. The only time I sleep according to more of a “day person” shift is when I HAVE to get up early. And even then, I hate it, and I’m tired all the time.

I am 100% day person. I wake up at about 7 am whether I want to or not. I get up, immediately shower and fix my hair, make my bed, and then eat breakfast. Breakfast is usually half an english muffin and an orange. If it’s the “weekend” (for me, that’s Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday) I’ll usually spend one day cleaning house, one day doing fun things like seeing a movie and playing pool with friends or working on a weird craft project for a weird friend (or myself), and one day hanging out with the married couple I’m sort of dating. I cook about 95% of my meals because eating out is expensive and makes me fat. I always do my dishes before I go to bed because otherwise they’ll pile up and it’s just that much harder to get motivated to take care of it. I go to bed somewhere between 10 and 12 but sometimes even earlier. I went to bed at 8:30 a few Monday nights ago.

I do not understand how people live any other way.

I am a confirmed Day Person. My ideal sleeping hours are 10-7, which is slightly problematic because it takes me a while to wake up and I need to leave the house by 8 to get to work on time. I cannot do everything that needs to be done in an hour, so I usually end up showering every other day. I do eat breakfast, but I am terrible about doing the dishes, so I usually have eggs on Monday and then yogurt-with-protein-powder every other day because I have plenty of bowls. PoM will be disappointed in me, I know.

I rely on a sunrise alarm clock to keep me in synch. It also has a sunset function. It is also the source of my functioning.

I get incredibly frustrated when one of my night-people-friends stays over and says that they will be leaving very early, and by very early they mean 1:00 PM. I have shit to do, people. I am outnumbered by night-people in my group of friends, so a lot of gatherings don’t even start until the time I’m usually going to bed (and even on weekends, I have a hard time staying up late. I turn into a pumpkin by 11.)

Leave a Reply