After Dark: The Brain’s Best Friend

emily-writing-her-script-at-night

Sam,

While I’ve been adjusting to life after university, I’ve made some significant adjustments to my schedule. Besides having to work more hours a week than I have before, my sleep, writing, and training routines have been altered since the summer. I go to sleep later and wake up accordingly. I find myself unable to train before work because it makes me too tired on stand, so I must do it after, at midnight. As for writing, I can only get into the mindset of doing it on my days off or the hour before work. What is more, I have noticed something about my habits, particularly creative, that I first learned about my freshman year of Uni. It is the strangest phenomenon of getting more stimulation at night rather than during the day.

Back in school, I know I spent many a time working late through the night (sometimes even last minute). I’m not sure if it’s just because that’s the only time I had after class or student laziness. This habit of preferring the dark hours over light for work have carried over to my being an employee. Yes, I have said I really only get to write good amounts on my days off, but there’s more to that. I find myself waiting until the sun’s gone down before getting to work. I don’t know why I’ve adopted this fondness for labor after dark now. I never considered myself a Night Owl, but maybe I have always been. When I reflect on the past, I feel much more motivated to get things done when the sun goes down.

Time seems to go by much slower at night for me that may be a reason for why I feel like I get more things done. If I’m at work during the day, I am consciously aware of the sun moving across the sky, and how much time has passed as a consequence. At night, when I’m focused on the job, I don’t even realize an hour has passed until I pause to take a drink or search for the synonym of a word. Perhaps, and this is a more likely reason, it is because I am still young. I have many friends my age who are proud of being Night Owls. We seem to have more energy and are not so bothered by getting little sleep (or sleeping in) because of staying up so late. Additionally, I find I want to be outside having adventures or the like when it’s daytime – at least that’s how it was when I was at school in the mountains. Only when night rolled around did I settle into my chair and draw inward from my experiences of the solar activities. Which stands to reason why I love cloudy or stormy days: little sunlight = less distraction from outdoors and more reason to stay in and write.

Don’t think all of this is a load of rubbish. I have scientific research to back me up. The article from theUK’s Independent not only supported youths and our owlish tendencies, it offered a comparison of the benefits of being either an owl or lark: owls are more like to be artists or inventors, whereas larks are writer-at-nightcivil servants or accountants, logical.

So if you’re ever wondering, as I did, why you write better at night? It’s because we’re wired to. I rather enjoy the romantic image of writing under a dim lamp (laptop or pen & paper) by a window with a view of either a snowstorm blowing outside or a cityscape to consider whenever I please. Now, I’m not saying you must write at night always to get anything good. I’m merely saying for the most part, we wait (sometimes on purpose) until the stars come out before embarking on our vessels of imagination.

Cheers.

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