A Reality of Getting Older (I Used To Be a Night Owl)

A Reality of Getting Older (I Used To Be a Night Owl)

It’s 10:26 p.m.

And I’m forcing myself to write this blog post.

It’s almost like I’m sitting here with my eyes propped open with toothpicks (remember those cartoons where the characters would do this to stay awake).

And the thing is… I can’t BELIEVE I’m so sleepy.

I’ve been a night owl all my life.


nightowlI have been the person who would be on fire after nightfall, work faster, be furiously more effective as the clock ticked deeper into the night.

Last fall, I gradually noticed myself getting sleepier earlier than usual. I thought I was experiencing an extra bit of “tired” as a result of training for a marathon and the taxing toll all of that running was taking on my body.

Then around the holidays, after the marathon had passed yet the tiredness continued, I thought I was super sleepy because I was recuperating from the taxing journey of my marathon training.

Well, here it is – stinkin’ FEBRUARY and I’m still tired.

I think it’s because I’m getting older.

I’m serious.

I think this is the first sign that my body is changing.

I have been a night owl for as long as I can remember. I have been pulling all-nighter’s since college and don’t think that it every really bothered me until maybe a few years ago.  Slowly, I’ve noticed my ability to pull an all-nighter and then function fairly well the next day disappearing.

I’m trying to look at all of this with positive “perspecticles” and maintain a upbeat outlook, but what I’m really thinking is…

Oh God help me.

I’m losing my youthful edge.

The last time I tried to pull an all-nighter, I think I found my face on the keyboard of my laptop sometime around 2:38 a.m.

There was drool everywhere.

The times I have successfully been able to pull off the all nighter, I was totally NOT successful with any and everything I needed to do the following day.

And everybody and their mother paid the price for my attempt to act like I was 22.

So hear me say in my Color Purple voice:

I love being over forty. Lawd knows I do. But I’ll kill ’em dead (the ’em in kill ’em refers to myself or somebody else) if I keep trying to stay up all night like I’m still a college kid.

Is this the beginning of the end? Is this my slow march through a series of changes that will serve to remind me that I’m closer to the end of my life than I am from the beginning?

I have always loved staying up at night because it’s quiet.  No one is calling. There ceases to be anything on the TV worth watching and I have less distractions that seek to get in the way of my productivity.  Late at night has historically been the best time of day for me to deep clean my kitchen, pay bills, put away laundry, meal plan, read, and yes… blog.

Now… I just “blo…”

Remember, I told you. I won’t actually finish a post because I’ll wake up at dark thirty with my lips mashed against my keyboards and my screen having a series of bnmbnmbmnbmnbmnbmnbmnbmnbmnb’s on the screen.

I used to be a night owl.

No longer.

It’s official.

So now I am curious. What is different about your life now then has been the case in previous years? Think back 10 or 20 years ago and tell me how YOU’VE changed.

By | 2016-12-05T17:54:08+00:00 February 10th, 2015|Fun|36 Comments
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  1. Calvonia Radford February 10, 2015 at 7:20 am - Reply

    Chrystal, I experience something very similar recently. I was exhausted from the time I got up in the morning until I drug myself into bed. A doctors’ visit and lab worked revealed that I have hypothyroidism and anemia. I am now adjusting my life to become healthy. It’s difficult because I am a 52 year old woman who works full time, attends college classes and works alongside my Pastor husband. Please pray for me.

  2. Ingrid Shanklin February 10, 2015 at 7:43 am - Reply

    Chrystal, I hear you and applaud you for addressing this. Fifty is closer than it appeared just a few short years ago. I, too, have had to reckon that I simply cannot do all the things I took for granted in my youth.
    Consistent injury made me modify my workout routine. I had to make a note to myself: you can no longer apply the 25 year old workout to your 48 year old body.
    I am slowing down… The Spirit is continually nudging me towards slowing to a more Godly pace. He is never in a hurry. He is never flustered, anxious or forced out of sorts by change or limitation.
    These changes have affected every area of my life…in everything He simply says, ” trust me, let me guide you and prepare the way and make your path straight” “since it’s too much for you now, you’ll have to let go of your youthful “can do” spirit and depend on the One that is higher, more able and more capable than you. In a word, enter into my rest and take a more intentional approach to enjoying the journey rather than rushing towards the destination.”

  3. Doris February 10, 2015 at 7:43 am - Reply


    I find myself hype at the task of staying up late to watrch a movie; by the time the credits comes on, I am sleep and waking up watching a different movie than before. Father time has shown me that me task at hand is to prepare for the next stage of this life He gave me.

    • Chrystal Hurst February 10, 2015 at 8:14 am - Reply

      Ha ha ha! My kids make fun of me because they know that if they turn on a movie for us to watch together I’m not going to make it through it! Hilarious! Glad I’m not the only one 🙂

  4. Leslie Brown February 10, 2015 at 7:55 am - Reply

    Crystal, first let me tell you how much I love ya! What a blessing it was to hear you speak at the Prestonwood Women’s Ministry Fall Dinner last year! I’m 44 with two kid’s ages 9 and 5. Oh my word, I hear you on the energy level it’s rough. I can relate to this change the most.

    • Chrystal Hurst February 10, 2015 at 8:14 am - Reply

      The funny thing is I will find myself falling asleep at night but I’m not sleepy in the morning or lacking energy… Well… As long as I’m taking my vitamin B I’m good! LOL!

  5. Crystal February 10, 2015 at 8:12 am - Reply

    I sis…I feel you. The things that come with age. Blessings I call them because some things we learn to appreciate more after we no longer have them. I was NEVER a night owl…9:30-10pm were my best friend. But now there are times when I am up until 2 or 3am. I think my “watch” has changed. Now I find the peace and quiet you found when you were younger, my time is now.

    • Chrystal Hurst February 10, 2015 at 8:13 am - Reply

      What I did not say in today’s post that I plan to say a little later this week is my quiet time has shifted 🙂 I know wake up easily at 5 AM in the morning. So I haven’t lost it it’s just that it was easier for me to stay up then to wake up and actually get out of the bed and get things done 🙂 but I’m learning!

  6. Amy Gregory February 10, 2015 at 8:15 am - Reply

    This is the first time I’ve read your blog. As of last night, I decided I must have mono because I have no energy and am exhausted. Being a wife, mother of 3 very active children, working full time, active at church, etc… I needed an excuse for why I can’t keep up. My mother said to me this morning that it’s because I never slow down. Reading your blog about age and the changes we have to accept has me smiling and laughing (a little). At 47, I guess it’s time to accept what God has in store for this age and stage of life. What a blessing your blog is for me today, knowing I am not alone.

    • Chrystal Hurst February 10, 2015 at 8:39 am - Reply

      Hi Amy! Glad you stopped by. And no… You are not alone 🙂

  7. Laura February 10, 2015 at 8:15 am - Reply

    I love your post. I am in my 50’s and I am still pretty active BUT I do like to get regular sleep and rest. It helps me to be stronger for the day. I think the difference is I don’t feel I need to prove as much . There is something to be said for really knowing who you are and realize that in order to be around for the long run I must have clear boundries!

    • Chrystal Hurst February 10, 2015 at 8:39 am - Reply

      Good point!

  8. Carmen February 10, 2015 at 9:20 am - Reply

    I completely get what you’re saying. I was totally like you. It seems that I push a series I’d eeeeeeeeeeeee’s on my keyboard when I begin to nod. It’s so bad hat I sleepily pushed off my alarm when I should’ve hit snooze and had to Rush today.

    I don’t like it. I guess listening to soft rock is next

    • Chrystal Hurst February 10, 2015 at 9:24 am - Reply

      LOL! “soft rock is next”. That funny 🙂

  9. Rebekah J February 10, 2015 at 10:48 am - Reply

    Chrystal, ayyyeeee, I’m not sure I should laugh or cry at this discovery! Night time has been “MY” time since I can remember. But now I have to have at least 7 hrs a few times a week. If not, then I become non functional and start snapping on’em. I’m losing my edge. *poked out lip* I’ve never been a morning person and as of yet, that still reigns true. At least change is not coming all at once. *sigh* This getting older deal is for the birds! LoL

  10. Stephanie February 10, 2015 at 10:54 am - Reply

    Hi Chrystal,
    First of all, let me tell you what a blessing you are to me. I have downloaded your podcast so that I can listen while at work. As I approached my fiftieth birthday, I realized that I was slowing down. However, I kept pushing myself to work harder. When I think about getting older, I have mixed emotions. I amazed at all of the physical, emotional and mental changes that I am experiencing. My husband and I have both accepted the call to minister, so I know that God has a plan. I hope that I will approach it as my 50 year old self and not that 25 year old who would probably spontaneously combust

  11. Fabienne F February 10, 2015 at 11:05 am - Reply

    I started laughing as I read your post. At 2:45 am this morning I told myself, I have got to quit staying up all night. I’m up every night until around 3 am doing homework, reading, cleaning the house, etc. It has always been the best time for me to accomplish things. I have been a night owl my entire life and it is finally dawning on me that I have to change. It used to be that I could totally function on 4 hours of sleep, that’s just not the case anymore. And I’m no ‘spring chicken’ I’m wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy past 50. But I’m telling myself that I can do all thing through Christ and in this case I guess that means going to bed much earlier!

  12. gillian February 10, 2015 at 11:29 am - Reply

    Ladies,so glad chrystal raised this, I have just hit 50,so an exciting time for me I thought. But nothing prepared me for pre menopause symptons,lack of energy, mood swings,that is a BiG one for me,dry hair because if kack of estrogen. I wake up many mornings wandering who I am today? Nonetheless its a challenging season of my life,its openi g up other new thjngs for me, I’ve discovered making healthy food choices is key to who I feel. Green smoothies with loads of berbs like basil,cilantro,mjnt,parsely,has become my pick me up food of choice. I have no choice but to embrace this season of my life !!!

  13. Katheryne Leccima February 10, 2015 at 11:51 am - Reply

    This post is funny. (Some of it is reminiscent of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.)

    As I think about it, my sleep habits have shifted too. I get up much earlier for the most part. I’ll pull all nighters to read or reflect, which usually means the next day requires adjustments in my schedule.

  14. Nancy February 10, 2015 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    I love your transparency, Chrystal. I’m a recovering perfectionist. 22 years ago the Lord spoke and I finally listened. He healed me of that need to do it all. Since then, my night owl tendencies have gradually dissipated over the years. I pay attention to my body and mostly I just pay attention to Jesus. He guides me and rarely does He expect me to think after 10:00 at night because He wants me to greet Him fully awake and rested around sunrise the next day. So, maybe that’s what He’s trying to convey to you. I’m 51 years young. It’s not old age that’s causing this change in you. It’s Him speaking to you and working in you. My three cents worth… 😉

    • Chrystal Hurst February 10, 2015 at 4:31 pm - Reply

      Love your thought. Thanks for taking the time to share them 🙂

  15. Beckey February 10, 2015 at 12:35 pm - Reply

    I am not even kidding when I say I was writing on this exact same subject this very morning. Because the man of the and I were just talking about it the other day! I used to be an “up all night, sleep til noon” gal. Now 10pm is sooooo late.
    In the other hand I’m now up no before the chickens (or the sun) which allows for plenty of quiet time with the Lord before the day starts. Which is a pretty great side effect.


  16. Tiwana February 10, 2015 at 5:13 pm - Reply

    My memory and energy level is pitiful, I can’t remember what was said 2minutes ago and I’m always tired. And to add to my body breaking down day by day, I’ve been bleeding for the past 10 days straight and can’t get in to see my gyne until the middle of March. This getting older is a trip.

  17. Tracye February 12, 2015 at 11:42 am - Reply

    Hi Chrystal! I love your blog. I keep thinking to myself….I’ll just be 35 next week and I am tired all the time! I am divorced and have 3 kids, a teenager, and a set of 7 year old twins. I have a full time career, very involved with my church, work out several times a week and have a lot going on with the kids. I really need to be in bed by 9:30…but it’s more like 11:30 everyday. I am making it a point to figure out where I can reprioritize my schedule as I do not like the constant “I’m tired” feeling. I look forward to your next post!

  18. Debi February 17, 2015 at 9:07 am - Reply

    I’m nearly 63, & I can hardly believe how fast my life has gone, so far. I need a nap (or 2) nearly every day. (Part of this is physical illness, part is just exhaustion.) I’m very concerned about my memory (or lack thereof). My balance isn’t good. I actually have to wear one of those “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” necklaces. I’m not driving, because my distance perception is out of whack. I have a list of doctors & medicine that’s 2 pages long. Sometimes I feel young, & sometimes, when I think of the many changes in my life, I feel old BUT, I’m somewhere in between (in my opinion). Now that I think about it, I used to be a night owl too…up until about 1 year ago. My sleep pattern was all out of whack. I was awake until around 4 AM, & slept until 4 PM. That wasn’t a very productive life,as I went to sleep in the dark & got up in the dark. Thanks to God for helping me dig myself out of that hole I was in. Now, I go to sleep around 11:30 pm & am up around 7am. I now find that my most productive time of the day is the early morning.I’m thankful for all of the positive things God has added to my life, as I’ve gotten older. I’m thankful for all of the things I’ve learned over the years, & the closeness my relationship to God has become. I wouldn’t want to go back & do it over, because some of those years were extremely hard & I don’t want to relive them. I’m much happier in my later years, because of all I’ve gone through & learned from. Life is tough sometimes…getting older means alot of arrangements have to be made, which can be stressful. But, thank God, I have a significant other who’s already done some of the things I have to do & is helping me along.

  19. Tam Cole February 17, 2015 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    Memory, Lactose intolorent, and muscle mass. Never was one for working out on a regular, but now it’s not an option. Plus taking vitamins everyday . I did change to an extremely healthier meal plan about 15 years ago and still we are still eating that way. But of we have cheat days

  20. loretta March 28, 2015 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    Chrystal I agree with everyone about everything. But I am beginning to beleive what Nancy had to say. I use to think it was part of menapause waking up in the middle of night. But it wasn’t the same becauae I didn’t have the night sweats, whoa! Praise the Lord. My days started out busy and my thinking was all over everywhere. And it was taking from my time with God. So at night when I would try to spend that with Him just before bedtime I wasn’t no goood. Cause I was out like a light and woke up with everything as I started out. Put it up and out. But low and behold between 3am and 4 I was wide awake trying to figure out why. But I begin just lying there having a full scale conversation with Him. And the next thing I know I would be waking up refreshed ready for the day. and happy and at peace thanking Him. And yes I have been a night owl all my life. Because of fear and loneliness. And not only that my mind could not wind down to sleep until about 2 or 3 in the morning. But it is begining to tell tell on me. I am soon to be 60 in a few months. And my body is now sayin hey calm down LOL! There is times I have to say Lord this is your body do as you see fit. Today I am so glad I ran across your encouraging devotions. Thank you.

  21. Linda December 25, 2015 at 3:25 am - Reply

    Psalms 103:5
    I believe He will renew my youth. ! I am willing! Our Heavenly Father is with is no matte where we may be Have watched many pple age..good health definitely makes a huge difference in physical ability (& sometimes mental) The power of our speaking positive and having positive thoughts is key to the process of living many years. Living out our faith by refusing to act as if getting older in years takes away the way we enjoy and perceive our daily lives. Age is just a number! Cherish the lessons learned. Ask God to help you let go of all negative and untrue thoughts of older not being a good thing.

  22. DR. KAREN A. WATD March 9, 2016 at 3:29 am - Reply


  23. Cisely Johns July 29, 2016 at 12:44 am - Reply

    Hello. We have a lot in common. Even though it’s 12:30 a.m., my night owl days are coming to a close. I’m 40 and will be 41 in November. The night time has been my time to thrive. I love the quietness…husband & children are asleep. I can get so much work completed. I desire to be an early bird instead of a night owl…lol. But I can hardly stay awake. If I stay up late, it’s hard to get up…duh. I’ve battled being over weight just about all of my 17 years of marriage. Before marriage, 3 children, teaching career & serving in many areas in ministry, I was very athletic & in great shape. I actually love my busy life & everyone God has placed in it, but I miss working out and playing basketball. I’ve started zumba & go to the gym inconsistently. It’s hard finding balance. My body has definitely changed. I think some of the ways I over did things (physically) 10-20 yrs ago has caught up with me. I feel it everyday. Then again, 40 has been good to me. I still look good & I’m excited about what God has planned for me in this next chapter of my life. Thanks for posting this blog. It has been extremely helpful!.God bless you!

    • Chrystal Hurst August 1, 2016 at 4:56 am - Reply

      We definitely have to work on balance!

  24. […] At least there was no drool on the keyboard this time. […]

  25. Sheryl House January 17, 2017 at 8:52 am - Reply

    I remember being younger and my mom use to have all the kids in the house Massage her shoulders, and I thought she was just trying to put us to work, not realizing that she was really in pain or stress due to her age, I to experience that now, I don’t have anyone to massage my shoulders or anything like that. My children are grown, and they did it enough for my mom after I got older.
    I do experience fatigue to a point of not wanting to get up, to exercise, I need the motivation to be motivated. I’m 58 and will be 59 this year and I truly can tell the difference in the transformation of my body, and because I am aware of whats going on with my body, I work on renewing my mind to give me the positive thought process to just get up and move it. It is challenging, but each day is a challenge, and I must do the best that I can do each day to become a better me. I do know this is not the end of the story; however, I want to continue to push to be the best and all that I can be, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

    • Chrystal Hurst January 17, 2017 at 9:13 pm - Reply

      Yes. Push Sheryl. You have much life left to live so plan to live it well 😉

  26. Patricia G Ozen February 7, 2017 at 10:12 pm - Reply

    Hi Chrystal, I am just into my 60’s, been a night-owl all my life tbat I remember. Even as a young girl, I stayed awake night after night, did homework weeks in advance of the class. Then my friend’s mother (neighbor) taught me to knit and crochet and do needle point stitching on pillow cases… to abide my time! I did these crafts til I grew tired of it all. Mind you there was very little money to be made in those sort of crafts sales back then. And as anyone might imagine, being nocturnal in my young adult stage suited me well for the night shift jobs I landed parttime after working a full fime day job. Yet, it is only now that I realize the energy I exhausted with not much to show for it all. Heard of the saying…sleep walking through life? That was me! Doing anything to entertain myself any and at all times. I can go back quite a ways with stories of how well I sleep-walked through my nights which became long and lonesome, even with three kids in the house and caring for aging terminallly ill parents along the way! Now the kids are grow with kids and husbands and careers of tbeir own. I am retired, single and with starfire energy. I don’t do crafts anymore. Needle eyes are too hard to thread. I do playtime with tbe four youngest of my ten grandkids when I am not sitting with an elder wbo needs me! What has changed is now my nights are PEACE-ful with the WORD of God, Bible Studies and listening to your podcasts or Priscilla’s or your dad’s sermons. Reading and writing are now my best night time past time. Yep…I rest in the daytime. A good trade-off you mjght say?

    • Chrystal Hurst February 8, 2017 at 5:11 am - Reply

      Great trade off!

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