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Being smarter in 2020: 5 reasons to go get up early or stay up late

Being smarter in 2020: 5 reasons to go get up early or stay up late

Getting up early can give you a chance to watch the sun rise in Tucson.

Are you an early bird, often called a lark, or a night owl? If you’re up at 3 a.m. — probably an extreme example — is it because you are still up or because you just got up?

Research suggests that about half of the population isn’t really either a lark or an owl, but somewhere in-between.

But about 25% of us are early birds or night owls.

For most of us, the human clock is about 24 hours long, which fits nicely with the Earth’s cycle.

Those with a naturally longer cycle tend to be night owls and those with a naturally shorter cycle are early birds. Some of this is likely genetic.

Your circadian rhythm can change over time. Younger children tend to be early birds and very few teenagers would choose to rise before 10 a.m.

If your occupation or school life doesn’t require it, it’s probably best not to try to change your nature.

It is possible to change your daily rhythm if you need to do so, but it’s easier to stay an early bird or a night owl if that’s what your body wants.

Just for fun, however, we decided to explore just a few advantages of each during Tucson summers.

Five reasons to get up before the sun:

  • You can watch the sunrise. They are almost as spectacular as the Tucson sunsets and sometimes exceed them.
  • Nursery and gardening experts say it’s best to water you thirsty plants outside early in the morning before the hot desert sun is cooking them. The water can get deeper to the roots before evaporating.
  • In the summer, it’s a great time to take a walk or walk your dog.
  • You can get a lot done before you even watch the morning news shows, especially if no one else is up to distract you.

The people you meet while out early in the morning are likely to also be larks, so you are meeting kindred spirits.

5 reasons to stay up late:

  • Late-night comedy shows are always good for a laugh or two and Tucson’s live late-night entertainment — at least once the COVID-19 pandemic has passed — is plenty of fun.
  • It’s the best time to check out the stars.
  • By 10 p.m., it may finally be cool enough during summer months to take your dog out for a walk without hurting its paws.
  • The second-best time to water you outdoor plants here is after dark.
  • You can still get some work done or solve some problems long after others have given up for the day.

Contact Johanna Eubank at


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Online producer

Johanna Eubank is a digital producer for the Arizona Daily Star and She has been with the Star in various capacities since 1991.

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