Mar 28, 2018

Lark or owl? – Kandy Shepherd

 Are you a lark or an owl? I’m definitely an owl! Getting up early in the morning is torture for me, accompanied by much grumbling. Alarm clocks are demonic devices, deserving to be thrown at the wall for daring to disturb my slumbers.

But as the sun goes down, I rev up. I happily stay up until after midnight. My best writing time is in the early hours when the world is quiet and I can get deep into my creative zone. Sometimes I write all night—but then regret it when the rest of the world is waking up when I want to go to sleep!

That’s when I wish I was a lark—instead of having to force my owlish self unwillingly into the 9-to-5 world. I’d love to bound out of bed full of morning energy. “There’s nothing more wonderful than watching the sun rise, it’s the best time of the day,” my larkish friends enthuse. Er, I actually haven’t seen many sunrises in my life. But I’m very familiar with the midnight sky!

I don't often get to see the dawn like a lark!

 The world also seems to view the early-rising larks among us as somehow more virtuous than lazy slug-a-bed night owls who go to bed at a decadently late hour. It seems work is more valued done by those early at the desk than those who are more willing to stay late!

Representation of owl me in the mornings!

 You can imagine how delighted I was to see recent reports that suggest owls and larks are born that way. Apparently we can blame our ancestors for our sleep patterns. Because long ago when we all lived a tribal life, there was a need for someone to always be awake and on guard both day and night to watch out for the rest of the tribe.

Owls were genetically programmed to stay up at night while the others slept, to guard against predators and to sound the alarm when required. Larks did the same during the day while the owls rested. Someone was always awake and alert to possible danger. Staggered sleeping patterns helped keep the tribe safe. It makes sense, doesn’t it? I like the idea that people who rose early to watch at the dawn of the day, and those able to stay awake after dark worked together for the greater good! Much like modern-day shift workers.

I come from a family of owls—an inherited tendency so it seems. Thankfully, I married an owl—though he doesn’t stay up quite as late as I do. Perhaps back in our cave dwelling days, his ancestor did the dusk to midnight guard-duty shift and mine did the midnight til dawn shift. That might also explain a baby who never wanted to sleep at night!

What about you? Are you an owl or a lark? A shift worker? Any clashes between owls and larks living together? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


  1. What a good post Kandy I am a Lark and Hubby is an Owl LOL I love the quiet of the early morning although I do read for a while in bed before I turn the light off :)

    Have Fun


  2. Helen, with all you have to do and with young children in your life, I am not at all surprised that you are Lark!

  3. Great post. I’m definitely an owl. Drag myself out of bed in the morning but can stay up late into the night. I love this time when everyone else is asleep. My husband is a lark, up in the mornings hours before me. I think it’s a great combination.

  4. My husband's a lark; I'm an owl. Seems to be a common theme....
    I too get lots of computer work done in the wee hours. Nobody is watching TV nearby, the phone isn't ringing, emails aren't pinging in, no meals to make, nobody is bugging me, life is good!

  5. I'm definitely not a lark, Kandy. Mind you, the older I get the less owlish I become too! And while I groan when the alarm goes off and VERY reluctantly climb out of bed, mornings are when I get my best writing work done, so... But I love the idea that our sleeping patterns might be inherited -- very cool. :-)