Night owls, our world needs to start respecting you. Here are 4 reasons why.

I am my cheeriest and most creative when most people are hitting the hay. But this is me if I'm forced out of bed by 7 a.m.:

"Ten more cups of coffee, please." Photo via iStock.


Yes, I'm a night owl. And I'm certainly not alone.

Many people have internal clocks that make it tougher to function in our 9-5 world. If you're like one of us, falling asleep and waking up at "reasonable" hours isn't reasonable at all. You shouldn't feel badly about that either — internal clocks naturally vary from person to person.

Society, however, doesn't like adhering to science (on this issue, at least). There are so many ways our world favors early birds over night owls. And frankly, it needs to stop.

Here are four reasons why we should make our world more accommodating for night owls.

1. Stereotypes about night owls and late sleepers are baseless and harmful.

You like to stay up late and sleep in, so you're lazy and on the fast track to failure. Right?

Photo via iStock.

Wrong. These backward notions are bologna. Yet they live on, making night owl-types feel less than. We're not!

In fact, some studies have suggested we might be more creative, "more intelligent" (researchers' words, not mine), and have bigger incomes than our early bird counterparts. So there.

2. Everyone wins when employers think of their workers less like robots programmed to turn on at dawn and more like, say, humans.

As I'm sure you know by now, many Americans don't get enough sleep. And, believe it or not, when these tired Americans — a disproportionate number of them night owls, I'd imagine — stumble into the office each morning with their eyes half-shut, they aren't on their A-game.

This collective sleepiness ends up costing us.

According to a study out of Harvard University, the U.S. economy sheds over $63 billion in productivity losses each year due to lack of sleep among workers. On the other hand, some research suggests more flexible work schedules make us happier, healthier, and — get this — even more productive.

Seems like a change is in order.

Photo via iStock.

The typical workday discriminates against late-sleeping night owls too, according to Camilla Kring. She's the founder of B-Society, a group that advocates for a more inclusive world for all sleep types — namely late risers or "B-persons," as she refers to us.

"[Early risers] have the competitive edge," she explained to Upworthy. "Most schools and workplaces are organized based on an 8 or 9 o'clock starting time. But why are we considered less productive if we prefer an active evening and calm morning? And why do [early risers] have the patent on discipline simply because they get up early?"

Good questions.

3. When schools start later, students excel. Just ask the CDC.

Nauset Regional High School in Massachusetts used to have a sleep problem.

“At one point, we asked teachers not to turn off lights or show movies,” former principal Tom Conrad told The Boston Globe this past March. "We didn’t want students to fall back to sleep."

So the school pushed its start time back from 7:25 a.m. to 8:35 a.m. And officials noticed big changes — immediately.

Photo via iStock.

Tardiness fell, grades went up, and more students showed up ready to learn.

This, I'm guessing, wouldn't surprise many folks at the CDC, which thinks far too many middle and high schools start too early, robbing students of vital rest. It recommends start times of, at the earliest, 8:30 a.m.

This makes sense — especially considering young people are naturally more night-owl-ish, so to speak.

When teens are experiencing puberty, melatonin is released into their systems later in the evening, and “this shift often makes many teenagers incapable of falling asleep before 11 at night,” Mary A. Carskadon, Ph.D., a sleep expert and researcher at Brown University, told Real Simple.

Teens, don't feel bad about hitting snooze. It's not you, it's this messed-up world we live in.

4. If you're not an "early to bed, early to rise" type, our society's 9-5 structure could be hurting your health.

"A circadian rhythm is not something you choose," as Kring pointed out. "It's something you're born with."

And when you miss out on those precious ZZZs because you're up late then forced to wake early, it could take a toll on your health.

Photo via iStock.

As the CDC notes, people who don't get enough sleep are disproportionately affected by a range of health complications — from diabetes and hypertension to depression and cancer.

We all deserve to get adequate shut-eye, regardless of when our internal clocks start and stop.

To be blunt, our world would be a better place if night owls were treated equally, damn it.

But don't take my word for it — take Kring's (who put it a bit more eloquently):

"Quality of life, health, infrastructure, and productivity would all improve if we offered people work hours matching their circadian rhythms."

Night owls, let's fight for our right to stay up late and sleep in later and put this issue to bed — once and for all.

To learn more about how B-Society's fighting to do just that, check out its website.

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Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

Even as millions of Americans celebrated the inauguration of President Joe Biden this week, the nation also mourned the fact that, for the first time in modern history, the United States did not have a peaceful transition of power.

With the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, when pro-Trump insurrectionists attempted to stop the constitutional process of counting electoral votes and where terrorists threatened to kill lawmakers and the vice president for not keeping Trump in power, our long and proud tradition was broken. And although presidential power was ultimately transferred without incident on January 20, the presence of 20,000 National Guard troops around the Capitol reminded us of the threat that still lingers.

First Lady Jill Biden showed up today with cookies in hand for a group of National Guard troops at the Capitol to thank them for keeping her family safe. The homemade chocolate chip cookies were a small token of appreciation, but one that came from the heart of a mother whose son had served as well.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.