Hacking my body clock by getting up at 4am changed my life – for the worse arwa mahdawi opinion the guardian calories in a small apple

“I am undertaking an important experiment,” I announced to my girlfriend recently. “I am going to start waking up early.” I waited for applause; there was none. She did not seem impressed at all. “I mean very early,” I clarified. “as in 4am. I am hacking my body clock.” again, no applause. Instead, I detected what appeared to be exasperation. “do you have to?” she said.

Reader, I had to. You see, I am a night owl; a marginalised member of society. Since the beginning of time, the world has revered early birds and propagated the idea that getting up with the lark makes you healthy, wealthy and wise. Those who struggle with mornings have been slandered as slothful. There are even studies that posit such a thing as a “ morning morality effect”, arguing that people are more likely to be unethical in the afternoon. I am not exaggerating when I say there is an entire scientific-industrial complex designed to oppress late risers.Changed life


Morning mania is only getting more pronounced. In recent years, the “power breakfast” has replaced the business lunch. Late capitalism loves an unnecessarily early start. Saying you can squeeze someone in for breakfast makes you look important; only losers lunch.

I have tried to stand up for my rights. We are all born with a genetic predisposition – a chronotype – to function better at certain times of day. I have tried to defend my chronotype. But there are only so many times you can decline an early meeting on the grounds that they perpetuate a problematic cult of productivity and discriminate against your DNA.

Eventually I decided that, if I couldn’t beat the early birds, I would join them. First, I had to identify the optimal hour of the morning at which to get up. Luckily, there is an endless stream of articles dissecting the ascetic lifestyles of the rich and famous to provide plenty of counsel on this matter.Changed life worse

Dan lee, the director of standing desk company nextdesk, for example, starts his day at 3.30am. Apple’s CEO, tim cook, sets his alarm for 3.45am. PepsiCo CEO indra nooyi gets up at 4am. Bob iger, CEO of disney, is a 4.30am sort of person. So is michelle obama. Jack dorsey, the founder of twitter, wakes at 5.30am.

You get the picture; success comes to those who do not wait for their snooze alarm to go off for the 15th time in a row. But what is the best time to rise if you want to shine? According to a wall street journal report, “ 4am is the most productive hour”. This is not due to the alignment of the moon or anything scientific like that; it is simply because there are fewer distractions.

Armed with this information, I decided to force myself to get up at 4am for a week. Let me tell you, it completely changed my life. For the worse. Even my dog stopped talking to me. I was miserable and tired and definitely not more productive.Changed life worse on the first day of the experiment, I stared at my computer bleary-eyed for an hour, then had a quick nap and woke up at my normal time. On the second day, I stared at my computer bleary-eyed for two hours and re-wrote the same sentence again and again before deleting it and having a quick nap. The remaining days played out in a similarly disastrous fashion.

Please, fellow night owls, do not suffer like I did. Listen to your body; do not force yourself to be someone else. If someone invites you to a stupid breakfast meeting at a stupid hour, feel free to tell them no. Defend your chronotype and never let anyone disrespect your DNA. A poor forecast for weather-based conversations

Oh, the weather outside is frightful. But the conversation is so delightful. Will it snow, will it snow, will it snow? Everyone wants to know.

I am based in new york, which is currently bracing itself for the fourth nor’easter in three weeks.Changed life on the first day of spring, we are supposed to get 15in of snow. I’m excited; mainly because I love talking about the weather and there is nothing like a blizzard to spark some warm, if dry, meteorological conversation.

I am not the only one who enjoys chewing over atmospheric conditions. Studies show that, at any given point, at least a third of the UK population is talking about the weather, has just finished talking about it or is about to remark “chilly, isn’t it?!” I imagine the same statistics apply to conversations about brexit. “chilling, isn’t it?”

The weather has traditionally been a safe topic of conversation; a way to find common ground with just about anyone. That is what makes such banal discussions so delightful. But I’m starting to worry this is no longer the case. Weather has become a partisan issue.

Bring up the fact that it is snowing on the first day of spring and, increasingly, someone is bound to mention global warming and their bizarre theories on it.Body clock they might even mention a bigoted conspiracy theory involving homosexuals or the jews. A homophobic pastor, for example, once claimed that flooding and hurricanes are god’s punishments for homosexuals. His home was later destroyed by a flood, which is very sad and not amusing at all. Last friday, a washington DC councilman blamed some light snowfall on “the rothschilds controlling the climate”. On the off-chance that the rothschilds do control the climate, I anxiously await their response. Apparently, I’ve got the luck of the irish

As you can probably tell from my name, I am irish. My mum is english, but was born in belfast and recently procured an irish passport. These are very much en vogue at the moment, what with brexit happening and all. There were 779,000 irish passports issued in 2017, the highest number since records began. The irish seem charmingly laidback about who gets to be a citizen; since my mum is irish, so too am I, apparently.Changed life I have enthusiastically embraced my new identity and would like to take this opportunity to wish a very happy, if somewhat belated, st patrick’s day to my new countrypeople.