Can Early Birds and Night Owls Change Their Sleep Habits?

My sleep habits are very consistent. I crash quickly at 11 PM and at 2 PM. Seriously, I can tell what time it is by how my brain feels. That 2 PM part makes it hard to think about getting a real job, but it helps me skip the hottest part of the day in summer. There was a time when I could work way into the wee hours of the morning, but I probably didn't get enough sleep overall. Each person has their own natural rhythms, developed over a lifetime. Our bodies set our sleep schedules by releasing hormones. Can we change that? Yes, up to a point. The secret is to make sure we get enough sleep overall. Sunlight is a great help. But when those hormones start flowing, it's not easy to fight against them. If we only had the freedom to work with our bodies' natural circadian rhythms, harnessing the time of day we can be most productive, we could enjoy our free time and our sleep time more. The TED-Ed lesson explains circadian rhythms and what we can do about them.  

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I was always a nightbird and seemed to feel the most alert after the sun had gone down. I loved staying up all night so I could watch the sun rise, listen to the songbirds calling to each other and watch the dew drops on the plants sparkle in the early morning sunlight before they evaporated into thin air. But all that changed after having kids. It took me decades to finally get my body used to staying up all day and not all night unless the babies thought otherwise.
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