Mirror Magazine
4th February 2001
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What's your best time?

By Laila Nasry

Early to bed, early to rise makes man healthy, wealthy and wise - says - who?

While some of us find the night with its peace and quiet the best time of the day to get our work done, the early birds can hardly digest the thought. For them staying up late is almost a punishment. Why not do what needs to be done when everyone is up and about. The disparity between these two categories are as wide as night and day, resulting in it all boiling down to personal preference. 

Early birds


I used to be a night person but now I'm a morning person. I guess it's old age!!!! I used to be able to keep up at night, at times till around two three in the mornings. But then waking up was really hard. It took a couple of cups of tea to get me awake. My friends would never call before eight in the morning because I'd kill them. But now they call me after 9.30p.m. and are shocked when my dad says I'm asleep. 

I'm dead beat when I get back after work and I need to turn in early. Even when I go dancing with my friends after around 11p.m. I can't dance anymore. That's the time when I cuddle a cushion and wish I was in bed. Of course I can keep my eyes open. But I'm far from energetic. I used to take afternoon naps. That stopped as soon as I started work. Not that I didn't feel sleepy then. But now even if I'm at home I don't sleep in the afternoons.

I wake up around seven in the morning. My body has got attuned to it and even if I want to sleep in I can't. In the mornings I feel very fresh. I'm like this lively little bird in office and everyone else is staring at me through drowsy eyes. At that time my perkiness has everyone wishing, I was six feet under! I love being a morning person instead of the night person I was sometime back. All the same it isn't all that great being a morning person in a night persons world.


Our whole household are morning people. I'm up around 5-5.30 a.m. The latest I'd sleep until is around seven, eight in the morning. If I'm not going to University then it's a case of reading the papers, doing my homework and my chores around the house. Oh, but I get my necessary sleep. If I'm at home and have nothing in particular to do then around 10-10.30 in the morning I sleep. Especially after a bath. 

I can stay awake at night if I want to, like if there's something really interesting on T.V But the latest would be around two in the morning. My earlier job required me working the night shift. I used to nod after sometime but I didn't fall asleep as such. It actually depends how tired I am. My father insists I sleep early because I have to get up early in the morning. 

I feel night is a better time to study. Somehow it seems longer than the day. And in the mornings you keep postponing stuff but at night even under pressure you do what you have to do. Concentration-wise I feel the night is tons better because it's more quiet. 


I'm fine in the morning. I have to be out of bed and I can't sleep after around seven. But I can also stay up until late, if I want to. I love the peace and quiet at night. I switch on the radio, play slow music and take out my old books and read. 

However I can't study at night. I find in the mornings I'm more upto it because I'm fresh. I guess if I try studying in the night I could, because I can concentrate at that time but I just don't choose to. 

My parents don't bug me to sleep early. They only keep reminding me not to forget to switch off the radio and the lights once I'm done for the night.

I don't think it's because I sleep late, but I feel pretty drowsy during the day. Especially around 10-11 in the morning and around three in the afternoon. When ever I get the opportunity of course I have a good snooze in the afternoon. 

Neither here nor there


I'm neither a morning nor a night person. It's actually a matter of circumstance and convenience for me. Though I start feeling drowsy around 11 or so in the night, if I fight it off I can keep up until two, three in the morning. In the mornings I'm up around six but I'm not groggy nor do I feel all that fresh. 

The funny thing is during the week-ends I'm up early. Although the night before I think I'm going to sleep in, I can't do so for the love of life. But come weekdays when I need to get to Uni on time, even though I've had my eight hours I can't open my eyes. 

An hour's sleep in the afternoon is refreshing. But more than an hour would leave me feeling awful. Besides when I wake up I feel half the day is over. 

Night owls


Well I really can't wake up early in the morning. Nor can I study in the morning. But I have no problem keeping up at night. So I guess I'm a night person. 

Nowadays I need to be up around seven in the mornings to be in time for uni, but waking up is so hard. The alarm goes off and I can't even remeber switching it off. But it seems I have because eventually when I wake up I've overslept.

On the other hand staying up until late is not all that difficult especially if I'm doing something really interesting. My parents don't tell me to go to bed early. They quit when I was around 12. However I generally don't feel drowsy during the day. Unless I have a lack of sleep, like if I've been up until three in the morning and needed to wake up at seven the next day. 

As for efficiency I think morning is better, because you tend to be fresh. But whether morning is better than night I realy can't say because it depends on what you are doing. I can't exactly play cricket with my friends at night now, can I?! 


Habitually I do everything at night. I read, watch T.V., study, do my homework, hang on the phone all at night. I feel more relaxed at that time of the day. It's nice and quiet and I can concentrate. I sleep around 12.30- 1.00 in the morning. Of course the next day I sleep in until around 11 in the morning unless I have to go to College, which leaves me feeling terribly grumpy. As I wake up I feel like I could go right back to sleep. 

Generally I'm a pretty lethargic person. If I eat something like 'kiribath' in the morning I feel drowsy during the entire day. But if I have something like eggs then I'm all hyper. 

Though afternoons naps are not a practice, after lunch if I sit down with a book or under the fan I fall right off to sleep. But when I wake up I feel all groggy and funny so I usually try to avoid it. 

My parents insist I sleep as early as eight in the night, but I can't. They sleep around nine and wake up like every hour asking me to either stop watching T.V. or get off the phone, put out the lights and get to bed. 

But I think doing things in the morning is better. I remember for my A/L's I got up a couple of times in the morning to study and I felt I remebered it better. It was all fresh in my mind. I know going to sleep early and getting up early is best for the body. But I'm just not strong or disciplined enough for it.

On the Campus - with Wathsala Mendis


It's a beautiful Monday morning. The Colombo-bound intercity train jolts out of the Galle Railway Station. I wave my uncle one last good-bye. 

"Call me as soon as you get to the university," Gram's parting words still ring in my ears.

It was after nine long months that I was finally able to squeeze in a two-day trip to my Grandma's into my tight schedule. After a blissfully spent weekend during which I ate like a pig and slept like a log, I am hardly in the mood to be dragged into the rigors of everyday life.

I watch with a sinking heart the familiar surroundings pass me by. Through a mist of tears I see my school up on the hill, beautiful and majestic as ever. In every immaculately white uniform-clad figure I see myself running around the huge playground in the brilliant morning sun. Not so long ago, it seems. But those days are gone forever. I ache to run back.

My grandparents didn't have a cushy job bringing up their as-bold-as-brass granddaughter. From the days of potty training to the intractable teenage years, I was an enfant terrible. I remember an irate Grandpa yelling at Gram, "Tell her to pack her bags and go home. First thing tomorrow morning," after one of my especially outrageous escapades. But they were hollow threats and I always made sure to steer clear of his line of fury.

The following morning Grandpa would be the first to ask after me. He wouldn't be "at peace" without having me turning the house upside down, screaming at the top of my voice. It was as if he was resigned to his fate of having a tomboy for a granddaughter...

I get off at the Fort Railway Station feeling like a zombie and board a 138 more out of habit than out of necessity. The last thing I feel like doing is sitting through four hours of lectures. By the time the bus pulls up in front of the campus, I try to pull myself together. The familiar chocolate brown plaque with its gold lettering always lifts my spirits and fills me with pride. I breathe deep and hard and hotfoot it up the hill.

Life goes on there as usual. The incessant chatter and merry laughter bring me back to reality. The freshmen freely roam the campus. The getting-to-know-each-other process proceeds at full swing. I wonder what it would be like to corner a couple of "rookies" and give them a bit of a hard time. Me? A "ragger"? Some joke! I'd rather go out on a limb to save somebody from being ragged.

An innocent-looking girl sidles up to a bunch of sophomores. Looks like she can do with some showing around. My buddy "Chicks" is more than happy to oblige. It definitely is time for us seniors to play the Good Samaritan. The happy, eager, excited faces are a reflection of our own breezy start. The formula for success here is to keep up that zeal.

We'll be going into second-year overdrive before we know it. As for me, I have every reason to start the year afresh and on a happy note at that, having pulled good grades at the exam. It's nice to be able to pat yourself on the back once in a while.

Yeah, it's time to shift gears...shake off this listless mood, put on that can-do attitude, and look to the future.

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