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Why Are Some People More Productive at Night?

Working-at-Night

There is a big debate between being a night owl and an early riser. Stereotypes lean towards early risers claiming them to be better at productivity and intelligence. However, both the mindset and culture is shifting from the perception that early risers are a better bet. People have started looking at those who live at night in a different light than before. This article will list some reasons why you might want to consider ditching going to bed early and burn that night oil instead.

Reasons Why Nightlight Might Boost Your Productivity More Than Daylight

There is research that links night owls with better creativity, intelligence, and productivity. Some reasons why you might find yourself more productive at night are listed below:

  • Peace and Quiet: Night-time is more peaceful and quieter than the day time. You will find that the quiet of the night helps you concentrate more without any disturbances making you more productive.
  • Alertness: People who stay awake at night have a much better concentration and mental alertness after waking than people who go to bed early. Hence along with being more productive during the night hours, they are also produced during the day.
  • Social: Night owls are generally more social since they have more time to go out for drinks and catching up with friends than those who prefer hitting the sheets early. This makes them happier, boosting their productiveness.
  • Energy Burst: It is commonly believed that people tend to get tired and exhausted by the end of the day. However, studies reveal that some people are known to have energy peaks at night. This makes them ready and geared up to tackle challenging work and activities.
  • Concentration: Night Owls are known to have a higher concentration and intelligence levels. As per a study with 15-night birds and 16 early risers, the concentration of early risers fell after 10 hours of work time, and the concentration level of night improved after that. This allows them to be more productive at night.
  • Flexible Sleeping Pattern: Some people have the innate ability to sleep when they want. These people can take advantage of the peace afforded at night to get a job done rather than in the daytime when there are lots of things seeking your attention.
  • REM Sleep: This phase occurs in the second half of the night and is associated with the creative aspect of the brain. There are a lot of examples of people getting their breakthrough ideas and writers getting their inspiration when in this phase. People have reported being at their best when they wake up from this cycle and start working on those ideas.
  • Time Restrictions: Daytime is associated with a multitude of meetings, dates, and appointments. This tends to disrupt your work. However, there are no meetings scheduled at night. You have the unique opportunity to work uninterrupted, boosting your productivity.
  • Relaxed: Typically, people feel much more relaxed at night time approaches. This is because there is a dip in the stress hormone cortisol, which remains high during the day as the evening approaches and night sets in your body reduce the secretion of cortisol to prepare for sleep, making you relaxed and hence more productive.

Why Should You Not Work at Night?

You might feel like you are more productive at night and tend to get more done during those hours. However, being a night owl is not all that it is cracked up to be. Night Owl is a term used for people who tend to stay awake late at night and catch up on most of their sleep in the early morning hours or through naps during the day. Though night owls have been known to be more productive, creative, and intelligent, it comes with a cost to their physical and mental health. Some problems faced with burning the midnight oil are:

  • Night owls are more prone to sleep disorders like insomnia because of their disruptive sleep schedules.
  • People with a tendency to stay awake later at night also display behavioral problems like anxiety and depression.
  • Increased risk of heart attacks, behavioral issues, type2 diabetes, strokes, and a host of other problems.
  • Compromised immunity because of disruptive sleep.
  • A feeling of disconnect from the world because of different schedules.
  • Social distancing since you don’t have time to socialize because of night-time working.
  • Family distancing from different sleep-wake patterns.

Q & A Round

 

Is your brain more active at night?

The time of the day affects your brain activity and efficiency. Research has found that the average brain becomes more active in the evening than at any other time during the day. This influences the brain’s ability and capacity to learn.

Are night people more intelligent than morning people?

Some research found that night owl are more intelligent than their counterparts. A study by the University of Madrid on a group of 1000 people concluded that night owl is better at creativity, intelligence, and reasoning. This makes them more likely to get high end paying jobs than morning people.

What is the optimal time to learn something new?

Your brain is sharpest between 10 AM to 2 PM. Then from 4 PM to 10 PM. The brain capacity is known to remain the lowest from 4 AM to 7 AM. Hence the best time for acquiring new knowledge will be from 10 AM to 2 PM and again between 4 PM and 10 PM.

Are you more productive at night or in the morning?

It would be wrong to give a blanket statement regarding this. There are theories to support both of these notions. In the end, it depends on your biology. Some people are natural morning people, and some are night owls. Where the morning people perform better in the mornings, the night owls are more productive at night.

Bottom Line

There is no discounting the research that suggests that some people are more productive at night. The trick lies in understanding whether you fall into that category or not. If you try to push yourself into working at night with the hopes of reaping its benefit, but your biology fights against it, then you might end up harming yourself more. Any night time activity that you might want to indulge in must only be done when your mind and body permit it.

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