Here is one of my favorites--it is written by an apparently kindred spirit of mine; published March 31, 1870, in the Anamosa Eureka. The article appears to have been reprinted from Appleton's Journal, and so I have illustrated this post with an image in the public domain from that clearly well-reasoned publication.
"The Delusion of Early Rising---There is no greater delusion than that which imagines early rising important to health; no greater error than that which places it among the virtues. While early rising has been sung in poetry and advocated in proverbs from time immemorial, it has been secretly and rightfully cursed by its unhappy victims ever since civilization conceived the idea of comfort. But we are all so bound by the law of custom, so endeared to a proverb or a musty sentiment, that our lips continually give faint assent to the value of early rising, even while at heart we long to resist the tyranny which it imposes upon us. What a frightful aggregate of discomforts accumulate upon a man who practices it through life--who every day is ushered from sleep into the raw, blank, dull atmosphere of early morning, and begins his day's existence before the sun has dispelled the fogs, dried up the vapors, warmed the air, and made ready, like Nature's great servant-of-all-work, as it is, the earth for our use! Early rising means a hurried dressing in a dim, half-lighted room--a sleepy, yawning, stumbling descent down dark, cold stairways--a rapid breakfast in a gray, cheerless, sunless room, while cold shivers run down the back, and a sensation of doginese creeps over the entire body--and then a precipitate plunge into the mists, and vapors, and general rawness of the streets. There is no sweetness in the day begun in this way, and no health either. The sun should be up before us to give us light, and warmth, and comfort; our breakfast rooms should be cheerful with his beams, and our breakfasts should be partaken with the ease; the comfort, the deliberation, the social enlivenment that can come only when we rise at a rational hour. A breakfast eaten by candlelight, or soatched [?] in the gray, chilling dawn, is an abomination. early rising, hence, opens the day with keen discomforts. It is productive of numerous social ills; it sours the stomach, promotes irritability, disorganizes the nerves, creates bad temper, and makes of domestic bliss a mockery.--A voyager, long suffering from sea sickness, declared that, if once on land, he would devote the rest of his life to hunting up and flogging the man who wrote:
'A life on the ocean wave.'Similar sentiments animate our heart when we recall the distich [?], "Early to bed and early to rise,"--but it is not necessary to quote what we all know and have suffered from.--Appleton's Journal"
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My mother has even commented that it is easy to think that people who are early risers are more righteous than those of us who are later risers. After all, it is scripture. But, as can be learned from the above quoted article, this is surely not the case.
Sun Warmed and Enlightened Risers Unite! Throw off the shackles of artificially early circadian cycles and let us embrace our true and healthy natures.
*Source of image: http://www.coolnotions.com/PDImages/PD_Appletons1872.htm
[Of course it is also interesting to note that the Earth was characterized as the workers' servant; and I wonder what time the preparer of breakfast was expected to rise.]