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6 Reasons Why Productivity Belongs To The Night Owls

Written on 4/15/2008 by Alex Shalman, creator of the Practical Personal Development blog.

Rising early, the habit of champions, is not statistically proven to increase productivity, happiness, or success. So why are so many people tooting their own horn about getting up before the rooster squawks?

It really comes down to the fact that certain early risers take full advantage of their early morning hours, and they’re very productive in telling us about it. This minority leaves out an important demographic of people, the ones that stay up late and sleep in, but make huge strides in productivity and innovation.

The benefits your body receives from waking early and enjoying more sunlight are marginal. Most people won’t use this time to be outside, rather they’ll spend it inside of a fluorescently illuminated cubicle. In theory, your productivity level shouldn’t differ if you rise at 4am or 11am. What matters is the quality of sleep that’s giving your mind and body sufficient time to recover.

So let’s consider some reasons why burning the midnight oil may be more productive than waking up before sunrise.

  1. Insomnia. The night owl will not go to sleep until they have hit a landmark in their productivity. They’ll work into the wee hours of the morning, and later if they have to.

If going to sleep late is consistent for you, but you do it at the same hour each night, then you still benefit from the synchronization of your circadian rhythm.

What do you think, could you be productive this way? Are you already?


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