By Denise Oliveira
This article was originally published in The Huffington Post.
In North Carolina, Mike’s wife jumps out of bed eager to get started on the day’s to-do list. Coffee is made, the dog is walked, the family is called halfway across the globe, and life is great. Mike gets up at the last possible minute to avoid having to interact with anyone until he absolutely must.
“Those 7 a.m. international Skype calls nearly drove me to sleep on the fire escape,” Mike said. Getting ready in 20 minutes is easy for him. “Grooming my beard happens before I go to bed — no sharp objects in the morning. Overall, I am less likely to do harm if I am in bed.” His wife said he moves in a foggy haze in the morning and is generally crabby. He said the sound of the alarm clock makes him physically ill.
In Milan, Bryony is happy to wake up early. She makes herself a cup of tea and tackles emails and the newspaper before her children wake up. If there’s time, she turns to unfinished chores from the night before.
“How long can you remain sleepy?” she demands of her husband. Over breakfast she peppers him with questions about the day ahead, ready to make plans. Her husband is never ready for the interrogation. Most mornings he can’t remember if he has meetings or client dinners scheduled. Bryony longs to tell him to get a grip on himself. “You can’t stay this drowsy for that long,” she thinks.
In Brazil, Carla feels almost as if she’s already standing up when she opens her eyes in the morning. She darts out of bed as soon as the alarm goes off. “I usually don’t stay in bed, because my husband says that I start talking a lot, and loudly, and he’d rather enjoy silence while he wakes up.”