The Gist: Over the past year, the number of Americans who consider themselves to be night owls dropped by 4 percentage points. Conversely, self-appointed morning people grew by 3%.
In college, I found my spouts of sleeplessness to bring inspiration and opportunity – a chance to grab the coveted nooks of NYU which were too busy to snag during daylight hours, or a chance to take my camera out and walk the streets in search of an interesting subject. A few years later, these random late night shpilkes (roughly translated to restlessness or agitation, for those who don’t know much Yiddish) to be the bane of my existence. Inspiration no more – just give me whatever it takes to get the hell to sleep.
Fortunately, my sleep patterns have improved over the years, but every now and then, the night-time shpilkes creep up, agitating even the night owl type like myself. Tonight is one of those nights.
So, what do I do to amuse myself? The answer is obvious, no? I mine through our data to find something about those like me, the “night owls.” (Sidenote: how did I turn into such a data geek?!).
When I looked at our historical data, one thing immediately appeared right off the bat. Night owls are going extinct.
In 2016, 52% of Americans considered themselves to be night owls, while only 35% considered themselves morning people. This year, night owls have declined to 48%, and early risers have grown to 38%.
Now, maybe the lack of sleep is kicking in, but I personally find this pretty interesting. If the trend continues, I wonder what effect it will have on industries that cater to the late-night adventurers, and the early morning risers. Will nightlife suffer? Will early morning coffee shops grow? There are infinite questions we could ask, but it’s time to go to sleep…