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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.

Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

The mesmerizing lost art of darning knit fabric.

For most of human history, people had to make their own clothing by hand, and sewing skills were subsequently passed down from generation to generation. Because clothing was so time-consuming and labor-intensive to make, people also had to know how to repair clothing items that got torn or damaged in some way.

The invention of sewing and knitting machines changed the way we acquire clothing, and the skills people used to possess have largely gone by the wayside. If we get a hole in a sock nowadays, we toss it and replace it. Most of us have no idea how to darn a sock or fix a hole in any knit fabric. It's far easier for us to replace than to repair.

But there are still some among us who do have the skills to repair clothing in a way that makes it look like the rip, tear or hole never happened, and to watch them do it is mesmerizing.

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Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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