You’ve probably heard that productivity is the key to success. While that’s true, it’s not the only thing that matters. You need to be productive at the right time of day – or night.
If you’re a night owl, surely by now, you know that you’re more productive in the evening than during the day. But do you know why?
The answer lies in your circadian clock, which is the body’s internal clock that regulates sleep cycles. The circadian rhythm is also responsible for regulating other biological processes such as hormone production, metabolism, and even mood.
In this article, we’ll explore how your circadian cycle and all other factors that affect your work habits. Read on to learn more!
Top 5 Reasons Why You are More Productive at Night
Why am I more productive at night? Here are some reasons:
1. It’s in your blood.
Your genetics has a lot to do with your circadian body clock. In fact, if your parents are night owls, there’s a massive chance you’ll be one, too. The reason is that the genes responsible for regulating our sleep and wake cycles have been found in the PER3 gene. This gene helps regulate when we’re awake and asleep.
2. Your brain works better in the afternoon or after dark.
Brains work differently during different times of the day. Morning types, for example, tend to perform better during morning hours as their brains are still fresh from sleeping. But by mid-afternoon, they start to feel tired and sluggish.
Night owls, on the other hand, are the entire opposite. They tend to perform best from mid-afternoon onwards, which is why they often stay up at night or even longer.
3. Your concentration levels are higher at night.
Nighttime is a special time for us humans. We tend to feel calmer, less stressed, and more focused during the hours after sunset. But what does this have to do with our focus and productivity?
If you’re like everybody else, your brain is often bombarded with different kinds of information during the day – not to mention all those kinds of daytime distractions, like phone calls and message notifications – leaving little or almost no room for creativity.
Thankfully, nighttime allows many of us to make up for lost time, which is why it’s not surprising many people find nighttime the best time to focus on creative projects. So while daytime is typically associated with productivity, nighttime is the perfect time to focus on tasks that require deep thought and reflection. And evening types (AKA night owls) know this best.
4. Your circadian rhythm has a hand in your routine.
Our bodies follow the circadian rhythm. Meaning, that certain biological processes happen at different times during the day. One of these is our sleep cycle, which tends to peak during the late afternoon and early evening hours. It plays a role in regulating our body temperature, hormone levels, and other functions.
But of course, if you’re a night owl, your circadian rhythm works a little differently. Night owls are active and energetic during the evening and nighttime hours. This means they feel better during those times than they do during the day. They usually wake up later than other people, and they also tend to work better after dark. They are, in other words, nocturnal workers.
5. Your ultradian rhythm has a lot to do with your work habits, too.
The ultradian rhythm is another part of your biology that affects your daily life. Ultradian rhythms are shorter than circadian rhythms, but they play a significant role in determining your energy levels throughout the day.
In the most basic sense, ultradian cycles consist of 90-minute periods of elevated focus and productivity followed by 20-minute periods of ultradian healing response (rest). For a morning person, their ultradian cycles kick in as early as 4:00 am. Others may begin working at around noon or even later.
If you belong to the latter group, you’re one of those nocturnal adults—your energy spikes sometime in the afternoon or perhaps after dark. Because of your ultradian rhythm (and evening energy boosts), you’ll probably get more done during the night.
9 Productivity Tips on How to Make the Most Out of Your Routine (as a Night Owl)
Now that you know the reasons why you love getting things done at night, the question is: how can you take advantage of your natural tendencies?
Here are five tips to help you maximize your productivity as a night owl:
1. Know when is the optimal time for you to start working.
There’s a specific time of the day when we feel we’re most productive, but the thing is, it largely depends on your internal clock. Some of us love to start working as early as 3 AM, while for others, it’s 3 PM. Yours may be a little different, too.
But the point is, you need to know when you feel you’re most productive and schedule your work hours around that time to optimize your results.
Don’t know what your ideal time is? Try working at different times of the day (or night), and take note of which one feels like the most productive. Then, try scheduling yourself to work at that time every day. Soon, you’ll be able to tell whether you’re more productive at night or during the day.
2. Set aside specific times to work, play and sleep.
Even if you’re a night owl, you still need time to recharge, energize and relax – just like everybody else. So set aside consistent times for work, recreation, and most importantly, sleep.
You don’t have to follow an early bird’s schedule, though. Just try to stick to regular bedtime, wake-up, and work time. And don’t forget to add play time to your routine!
That way, you can be as productive as possible without sacrificing your health. Besides, it gives you an opportunity to maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
Consistency is key here. If you’re not feeling well after a few days of sticking to a routine, you might want to change things up a bit to see if that helps.
3. Streamline tasks.
One of the best ways to make sure you stay focused and productive is to streamline your workflow. This means making sure all your tasks are broken down into smaller chunks so you can complete them faster.
For example, instead of having a long list of projects you need to finish before the end of the month, break each task down into smaller steps. You can then prioritize these tasks based on importance and urgency.
If you’d like to take things a little further, you may want to consider automating tasks with the help of apps, or you may want to delegate some of your work to others. That way, you can focus on other important aspects of your life.
4. Negotiate for flexible work hours.
As a night owl, you might find the 9-to-5 schedule a little too rigid. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it.
Some companies are open to accommodate their employees’ needs. For instance, they may allow you to work from home or have alternative work hours, or even let you adjust your hours depending on your situation.
It’s worth a shot, especially if you’re keen on taking your productivity to the next level.
5. Monitor your productivity.
Keeping track of your progress is essential for you to have a bird’s eye view of your overall productivity throughout the week. It also allows you to identify areas in which you could improve.
Not only that, though. Tracking will also give you some insights into how energetic or productive you are during the day and night. Doing so will also help you determine whether you should adjust your waking hours or try to change your sleeping habits.
You can journal or even use a few productivity and time-tracking apps to keep tabs on your productivity.
6. Make your room conducive for sleeping even during the daytime.
Like everybody else, you need at least 7 hours of sleep daily. And you must remember that disruptive sleep schedules are bad for you.
That’s why, if you’re embracing a night owl routine, you should make sure your bedroom is conducive to sleep even during the daytime, and that means a few things:
- It should keep bright light out (including natural light).
- It should be quiet.
- It should be cool enough.
- Your bed should be comfy enough to sleep in.
- And lastly, it should be free of distractions.
If you’d like to take things a little further (e.g., wake up to simulated sunrise in the comfort of your room), a sunlight alarm clock might be worth checking out.
7. Don’t forget about self-care.
You’ve probably heard this one before, but it bears repeating. Taking care of yourself is just as important as being productive. And if you’re trying to become a productive and effective night owl, you’ll benefit from doing so.
Make sure you get plenty of rest and exercise. Maintain consistent sleep patterns. Eat healthy food, and stay hydrated! Take breaks when needed, too. And finally, don’t forget to relax!
8. Try other routines.
Let’s face it: having a night owl routine can sometimes be a little too much. If you feel like you’re getting burned out by it, you might want to try something new.
But here’s the good news:
Just because you’re a night owl now doesn’t mean you’ll stay one forever. Of course, you’re free to change things up.
You can do so by switching up your routine. Maybe you can start working an hour earlier than usual and go to bed an hour earlier. You can do this for a week or so to see if it works for you. If it does, you can adjust your start times earlier than you normally do.
The point here is that there are many ways to leave the night owl routine. The trick is to find what works best for you.
9. Save those difficult tasks for your most productive time.
If you’re struggling with complex tasks that require a lot of focus, you might want to save them for later when you’re most focused and productive. That way, you’ll be able to complete these demanding tasks faster and better. You might even enjoy doing it then.
Conclusion: Why am I more productive at night?
The answer to this question depends entirely on you, your habits, and your biological clock. It’s probably because you love the quiet nighttime or simply because you’re hardwired that way. The answer could be completely different if you’d ask the same question to other people, though. After all, the brain functions differently from person to person.
So, if you’re a night owl who’d love to make the most of your night owl routine, follow the tips above. They will help you maximize your productivity while enjoying the benefits of being a night owl.
And don’t forget that you can always change things up if you’re not happy with how your daily routine works. Just pick a few things to tweak, and you’ll soon be running a brand new routine in no time!
We hope this article helped you understand why you’re more productive at night. We’d love to hear your thoughts below.
Do you agree with our list? What would you add? Let us know in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning, if you click on one of the product links, I will earn a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Creativity Mesh.