CHAPTER 2 The Brainwashing: Society Stigmatizes Night Owls—and People Buy It

“Why isn’t he up yet? No one should be in bed this late!”

“Never let the sun catch you in bed.”

“Successful people are up before the sun every day.”

“Night owls are lazy sloths!”

How many of these statements have you heard? I know that first one has been said about me many times. Anytime I visit family back in New Jersey or New York, whether it’s my wife’s or my own, it seems to be a running joke among everyone present that I sleep late.

I always dread walking down the stairs in the morning and hearing the snarky, “Well, gee whiz, rise and shine!” Or, “It’s about time you got up.” Or, “How can you have successful businesses when you’re always sleeping?”

The Myth of Night Owl “Laziness”

As I write this, I can tell you that I went to bed slightly after 2:00 a.m. last night, and slept only five hours. Is that oversleeping? I don’t think so—that’s undersleeping! In fact, the only reason I only got five hours of sleep is because my wife and kids are away visiting her family in New York State, and our dog and cat wake me up every day to get fed. Normally my wife is up before six so I do get a good night’s sleep most nights.

I typically get in seven to eight hours, which is the normal amount of time that human beings need to remain healthy and give the body enough time to rest, recover from the previous day, and get ready for the next. How is that “lazy” or “oversleeping”?

Here’s the catch: Let’s ...

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