I have always suspected that people who are happy to go to bed early and get up at the crack of dawn are weirdos. And now the latest research backs me up, and I couldn’t be smugger.
There are, when it comes to sleeping patterns, three types of humans: A-people, B-people and then a whole bunch of losers that we will refer to as “normal” people, and are not that interesting really. Well sorry, but you’re just not.
The A-people like nothing better than putting on their jim-jams, sipping a warm beverage and climbing into bed at 9:15 or so. They sleep log-like until their shrill little alarm clocks ring at 6:30 and up they hop, fresh as a fucking daisy and eat their porridge with a wink and a nod and a big shit-eating grin.
A-people make me sick.
Then there are the B-people. Like me. B-people are physically incapable of going to sleep early. 12 is manageable, but pushing it. If a B-person is forced to bed at 10 (usually by a well-meaning A-person), they will turn and squirm and stare into the darkness for an hour or two. And if, my some miracle, they do manage to go to sleep at all then they will only wake up at midnight and be stone cold alert until the birdies cheep and grey dawn glows cruelly at the window several hours later.
This part is hard to explain to A people – it’s not that we choose to stay up late, we are actually physically incapable of sleeping early. We-can’t-do-it and no amount of sheep-counting, oral pleasuring, herbal tea or new-age dirge will change that. I am at my most alert in the evening, and sleep is the last thing my body wants.
I am a B-person. If left to myself, I will adopt a cycle of going to bed at 1 or 2 in the morning and waking up at 9. It doesn’t take a genius to notice that this does not fit in with any aspect of modern life: not with work, nor babies, nor schools, nor anything else. If a B-person is to function in the modern world, they are forced to almost always be tired.
The research says that B-people comprise 15-25% of the population, A-people 10-15% and normals the rest. But, for some reason, the world is designed and run for the A-people. In Sweden, it is particularly bad, with schools starting before 8:30 in the morning, even for 6-year-olds. And when the long, cold dark winter moves in, it is close to torture as we are forced to get up and stumble out the door when it is totally dark outside.
I suspect the world is designed this way because the fucking A-people scheduled all the meetings for 7:30 and were therefore the only ones awake and paying attention. The B’s, meanwhile, just sat there at the meeting table, unshaven and sipping coffee, and did not raise their hands at the right moment due to being largely unconscious.
And then I start to wonder – why should we all have the same cycles? Why in the world must everybody go to work at the same time, requiring more roads and trains to be built for a few hours of frantic rush-hour every day? Why must every idiot stand in line in my local deli at lunch time? Why do schools all open at the crack of dawn?
Why are the fucking A-people still running the show?!?
Something needs to be done, and luckily some brave B-people are doing something (although mostly in the evening). We have the noble Danish society, B-samfundet, also available in Sweden, who are fighting for the rights of the terminally tired. Also we have the same group again in an English-language version.
May these tireless fighters break the iron grip of the smug getting-uppers and allow us all, for the first time ever, to get a good night’s sleep. And maybe, while they’re at it, they can get something decent on the telly at 3 in the morning that isn’t Magnum PI.
/ paddy (B to the bone)