Why do I work better at night?


At four am, I look like a decrepit, unwrapped mummy with hair. I feel exhausted—like I could pass out, but I don’t. I work on my article of the month paper for my Honors English 10 class that is due the same day. Sorry, Mr. George.

I fall asleep somewhere roughly between midnight and three am wake up at six am. I work on minimal sleep, and I hate it, yet I work extremely well under these conditions. My school life is somehow mostly unaffected and the B+ I got on the paper shows.

I don’t know when I realized it, but I work better at night, or rather, I work better on less sleep.

Maybe I have an odd form of insomnia where I just can’t fall asleep and that helps me work.

Maybe it’s something related to state-dependent memory—a form of memory where you get better or worse at things depending on your state. 

I have never had a good work ethic, nor have I had a good habit of doing homework. I never can do it during the dayI’ve tried. But when night rolls around, I can complete any task. I can act like a factory and push out three worksheets and an essay in under three hours.

During the day, I could only get the essay done in that time.

Maybe it’s because of distractions. 

Maybe it’s the dim lights of the lamps and the sky, or the quiet, cool air. Maybe it’s superficial.

I might work better at night, but that might also be because I only work at night. I’m all too distracted with living my ‘best life’ and ‘living the way I want too’ only to have the sun setting make me realize I have homework to do and papers to write.

Maybe it’s superficial.”

Yet, unlike in past years, I don’t stay up in a panic. I just work—sometimes. I sometimes just exist in my own thoughts and muse nighttime day-dreams or become a philosopher where almost all my thoughts are seen as incoherent babble.

Yet, my best thoughts and ideas come at night. An idea for a piece, a ladder to help me over the brick wall of writer’s block, or just some random philosophical idea like how the sun, an inanimate object, controls more of my life then I do.

Maybe I work better at night. Maybe I don’t—it doesn’t matter. I may have this difference that sets me apart from others, but so what? This makes me unique; it makes me flow against the grain. 

Aren’t we always told that being different is good?