Are you a night owl?

Amany Abdel-Moneim , Tuesday 9 Nov 2021

And though we are programmed to feel sleepy at night and to be active during the daytime, some people with this basis are able to function normally even after 27 hours.

night owl
night owl

Worrying about being a night person? Failing to fight your nature and be an early bird? Cheer up – sleeping late and being active at night should no longer be considered bad habits. Some studies show that night owls may be more productive, have better analytical skills and greater reasoning abilities than early risers. 

While people who are more active at night or are night owls are often labelled as lazy unlike those who get up early, recent studies show that there is a biological basis for people who feel more alive at night.  And though we are programmed to feel sleepy at night and to be active during the daytime, some people with this basis are able to function normally even after 27 hours. That means a night owl has a longer daily cycle than most people.

Night owls can start the day really slowly but tend to be more energetic and productive in the afternoon. They may also have more stamina and better concentration, especially during a long tiring day at work. Plus, their energy bursts in the evening make them feel refreshed when others are already at their limit.

So, for all you night owls out there.

Here are some scientific reasons to accept your late-night productivity habits and trust your internal clock.

You’re more likely to be creative:

Researchers have observed a spike in creativity among night owls, mentioning that they are more likely to come up with outside-the-box solutions than morning persons.


You’re more likely to be entrepreneurial:

Studies show that night owls have a higher tendency for risk-taking and have the ingredients for becoming successful entrepreneurs.


You are more relaxed:

Studies show that early birds usually have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and these high levels stick around all day. Night owls do not have the same level of cortisol and stay relatively calm all day.


You have extra happy hours:

You can enjoy a nighttime social life because you know that you’ll still have several hours of productive time left before bed.


You stay mentally alert:

A recent study found that night owls remain mentally alert for a much longer period of time after waking than early birds.


You find peace and tranquility:

There are no appointments or meetings scheduled in the middle of the night and no emails, texts or phone calls. So, you can concentrate without interruption for hours.


You’re probably stronger:

Studies show that night persons have an increase in motor cortex and spinal cord excitability in the late evening hours. You can use this and exercise at night instead of in the morning to stay in shape.


You may have a higher IQ:

Researchers have found that night persons have tested higher in general intelligence and even earned higher incomes than early risers. Another study has revealed that highly intelligent children tend to become night-time adults.


You can access a peaceful internet:

You get the chance to catch up on all the latest news without dozens of updates happening simultaneously or having to check back periodically for additional updates.

*A version of this article appears in print in the 11 November, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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