Early bedtimes are totally overrated. Truly. Come 10pm, the night is alive and full of opportunity. By midnight, the world is my oyster. And when the clock turns to 1am, oh friends, the night is beautiful!
Here’s the thing though, I haven’t always been a night owl. I never once pulled an overnighter in college and when I worked at a coffee shop the first year of my marriage I went to bed at 8pm … when your alarm goes off at 3:30am, you have to!
I’ll consider my night owl tendencies a gift from my children. Their early years taught me to embrace the night. Even when they started sleeping well, I kept up my late night habits. It had become too normal, too much of my routine.
Why I stay up
At night, there are zero interruptions. The television is all mine. I get the dishwasher and washing machine both running and settle in on the night’s project: sometimes work related, sometimes reading with a cup of tea, sometimes a big organization project with a Spotify playlist or audiobook in the background. When I’m training for a race I have even been known to fit in a late night run on my garage treadmill.
If you too are a night owl, you understand the productivity potential of the night, and if not, consider some of these perks of being a night owl and stay up an extra hour tonight!
Seeing the stars
It seems like everyone raves about days filled with sunshine, but let me tell you, there is nothing more beautiful than a clear night full of starry constellations. I have become quite the fan of the app “Sky Guide” and often use it as a tool to know exactly what planets and stars I’m seeing as I peek out the window.
I live in a bit of a rural area and during “prime time” the internet lags quite a bit. But at 1am? All the internet power belongs to ME!
Midnight bubble baths
When I do decide to turn in for the night I still block out an hour for a midnight soak. I light a candle, grab my current book, and quietly wind down. A bubble bath is always a peaceful experience, but late at night, I promise, it is even better.
If your house is anything like mine, things are in a bit of a disarray by the time bedtime rolls around. Staying up late allows me to prep tomorrow’s breakfast, walk must-haves to the car, lay out my clothes, wash my hair, and succinctly write a to do list when the silence allows for me to think in a complete sentence.
Staying up late means I wake up a little later in the day. Hence, my meal times are a bit off. Breakfast at 10am, lunch at 2pm, dinner at 7pm, and my favorite, fourth meal at 10-11pm. It’s usually more of a snack – half a grilled cheese or apple slices and peanut butter – but something I 100% look forward to.
I feel much less anxiety when my email is tidy, so, most evenings I delete, archive, and reply to emails as part of my night owl routine. As I type, my inbox is sitting at just five! It’s the best feeling!
I mentioned that when I’m following a regimented race training schedule I often run at night. It’s such a healthy high to run out the day’s stress and then crash for a good night’s sleep. When not running as much, I opt to stretch while listening to a meditation playlist or join a virtual yoga class through a YouTube station. They’re all amazing options to close out the day.
Time for self-reflection
During the day, much of my time is devoted to my spouse, children, home, and work. I flit and fly from one fire or emotion to the next and aim to end the day in one piece. When all is cared for, I designate time for myself – when it’s dark and quiet and no one needs me. At night I can journal, reflect, read, pray, and dream. Being a night owl allows me to stay present with me; being a night owl keeps me sane.