The Power of When

The Power of When
Carly Jacobs
the power of when

It was a Friday night about 3 years ago and one of my best mates was coming to visit me. She’d lived just up the road from me for years but had recently moved cities. I went from seeing her several times a week to maybe three times a year and I missed her dreadfully.

Mr Smaggle was out for the night but he’d left a few bottles of wine for us in the fridge. He’d even made sure my phone was synced to the stereo ‘In case we wanted to sing Les Mis later.’ This clearly wasn’t our first rodeo.

She came over straight after work, around 5pm and we started drinking and talking immediately because we knew we were on a clock. You see, my very dear friend is a hardcore morning person which means she kind of sucks to hang out with at night. She can make it to 9pm but then she starts yawning, lying down and ‘resting her eyes’. Fair enough though because most days she’s up at 5am. That’s just the way her body clock works. There’s no point in fighting it – we just know if we’re going to hang out at night she’s done by 9pm. Her eating times match this. If we go out for dinner, we meet at 6pm because she’s usually ravenous by then. And yes, I definitely call her grandma and tease her about getting into restaurants before the early bird special.

the power of when

Me? I’m an inbetweenie. My main sleep hours are between midnight and 7am so I’m fine in the morning and at night. It has to be a VERY good party/conversation/bottle of wine to keep me up past midnight but it’s been known to happen. I rarely bounce out of bed at 6am but when I need to, I can definitely do it.

Mr Smaggle? He’s are a hardcore night owl. Always has been. He’s rarely asleep before 2 or 3am and is pretty useless before midday most days. You know the 3pm slump? That’s his prime-time – he gets his best work done between lunch and dinner and just after dinner. Having to do work after dinner is torture for me but Mr Smaggle loves it because he’s firing on all cylinders. It’s just the way his body works.

The thing is, if we’re all so different and run on different schedules, why are workplaces, schools and general social events run to the same time frame? It doesn’t really make any sense.

This week on Straight & Curly, Kelly (hardcore morning person married to an inbetweenie) and I (inbetweenie married to a hardcore night person) discuss The Power of When and how important it is work with your biorhythms and not against them.

the power of when

Topics discussed –

  • The Power of When and which biorythmic animal you are. Lions are morning hunters at the top of the food chain. This name fits morning-oriented driven optimists with medium sleep drive. Bears are go-with-the-flow ramblers, good sleepers, and anytime hunters. This name fits fun-loving, outgoing people who prefer a solar-based schedule and have a high sleep drive. Wolves are nocturnal hunters. This name fits night-oriented creative extroverts with a medium sleep drive. Dolphins sleep with only half their brain at a time (which is why they’re called unihemispheric sleepers). The other half is awake and alert, concentrating on swimming and looking for predators. This name fits insomniacs well: intelligent, neurotic light sleepers with a low sleep drive. Take the quiz here! 


  • How to push back on societal norms when it comes to your own circadian rhythms


  • What to when you’re not in a position to work with your own biorhythms


  • Should school start later in the day?


  • The Power of Period and how menstrual cycles can affect energy levels

You can listen to the podcast here or on any podcast app.

Side note: Let’s talk about why morning people are praised and night people are considered slovenly. Yes, I tease my morning person mate about being a grandma but most of the time she’s hero-worshipped for getting up before everyone else. For some reason staying up late, even if you’re working, is seen as being undisciplined. What’s with that? It’s essentially the same thing – both kinds of people get the same amount of sleep but when a night person wakes up at 10 am (several hours after everyone else) they get shamed for it. It’s really weird don’t you think?

Have you heard of The Power of When? Are you a morning or night person? Which animal are you?

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  1. Missy D 1 year ago

    I often wonder if people are praised for being a morning person because our society operates on a day-time lifestyle. So if you are someone who is more active at night, you have less windows of doing everyday things – banks, shops, businesses etc are not opening during these times.

    I feel like I drift into different hours of sleeping depending on my lifestyle at the time. At the moment I’m up at 5am and in bed by about 10pm. And it’s all automatic – I don’t really have to drag myself out of bed in the morning because I’ve been doing this for years. And I keep the same the routine, even on weekends (unless I’m going out). But during my uni years I was a total nightowl.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 1 year ago

      That’s true! If you’re asleep until 2pm, you’re definitely missing your post office window!

  2. Mykki 1 year ago

    I had never heard of the Power of When before and so I took the test you linked to. I got Wolf, unsurprisingly. It made so much sense for how I operate…

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 1 year ago

      It’s a great quiz isn’t it? Most people are like ‘Totally. That’s 100% me.’

  3. Shelley 1 year ago

    According to the quiz, I am a wolf. It is true that I have NEVER been a morning person but my current medication has turned me into a total morning zombie! I’m doing my best to accept this fact but I am aware that even I am quite critical of my functional/non-functional hours. Seems I have internalised some of that societal disapproval of the owls in our midst.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 1 year ago

      This is a massive struggle for Mr Smags too – but he’s got a real fuck it attitude about it now. He is what he is and there’s no point fighting it.

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