Night owls reveal what they do when everyone else is sleeping

While some people love hitting the hay as early as possible, plenty of night owls enjoy staying up so much they have turned it into a lifestyle of its own.

People who have gotten into the habit of going to bed well past midnight have opened up about what they like to do with their extra chunk of time while the rest of the world gets some shuteye.

Many find that nighttime is their peak productivity period, especially since staying up allows them some uninterrupted alone time, meaning they are able to work distraction-free.

Activities: Night owls have opened up about what they like to do with their extra chunk of time, from doing creative work to enjoying some me time (stock picture)

Creative work is a frequent activity for night owls, including 27-year-old Anna McNaught, a photographer and graphic designer who typically goes to bed between 1:30 and 2:30 am.

After having dinner with her fiancé, checking out social media, brushing her teeth and applying her skincare products, Anna, who is part of a group of night owls who detailed their habits to Self, begins by reading her emails at 10 pm, before delving into photo editing.

At midnight, her fiancé goes to bed while Anna switches to a different project. In the schedule she outlined, she said she thought about sleeping at 2 am, but ended up doing more work and didn’t go to bed until 3 am.

 ‘I’ve found night to be the time of day when I’m most productive,’ Anna told the magazine. ‘For whatever reason, I just end up in a creative zone at night. I usually work until I feel sleepy, but if I get into a groove, I could probably keep working all night!’

I produce better artwork and stories later at night and my creativity goes into full effect

Young night owls, too, sometimes feel particularly creative after the sun sets.

‘I used to do this more when I was younger, but I would act out sketches in my room,’ one Reddit user as part of a thread dedicated to night owls’ habits.

‘I’d dress up as different characters, and even play multiple roles in one sketch. They weren’t funny or anything, just little mini dramas or something.

‘When I was ready to go to sleep, I had a particular line of dialogue I would recite that ended with falling asleep.’

Another Reddit user said they, too, feel especially inspired when it’s dark outside.

‘I love the night for several reasons. First off, I love the dark night sky, as opposed to the bright blue sky. Secondly, for whatever reason, I produce better artwork and stories later at night and my creativity goes into full effect,’ that person wrote in a different thread.

‘Third, I love the quietness of it. For some reason, whether I got a full night rest or not, I have always hated everything about mornings. I hate the idea of getting up when things are just opening around town or when the sun is just rising, I hate the idea of breakfast (eating in the early hours makes me vomit anyway) and so forth.’

There is, however, one drawback to staying up: not being able to communicate with friends if a genius idea happens to pop up.

‘I’d say one of the best things about being a night owl is the ability to work without being bothered. I don’t have people texting me to do stuff, or the temptation of seeing what my friends are doing later, because everyone else is asleep,’ another Reddit user wrote.

‘One thing that sucks though is when you get a super good idea for plans and you can’t run it by your friends to see if they would be interested until the next day.’

While some are busy working in front of a computer, others find that staying up is a great way to get some me time.

Bonnie Winston, 54, a professional matchmaker, typically goes to bed between 1 and 3 am. While the schedule she gave Self shows that she does work until around 12:30 am, she also stays up a bit longer doing activities she enjoys.

 One of the best things about being a night owl is the ability to work without being bothered

First, Bonnie, a fan of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, watches some TV, before switching to reading at 1:30 am.

‘I like going to sleep late, because I’m in a business where I have to always be ‘on’—scouting people, networking, etc,’ she said.

‘It’s nice to have some me time, and the quiet hours between 11 pm and 2 am give me that.’

One Reddit user has also come to enjoy the peace and quiet of the later hours.

Asked about what they like to do at night, they wrote: ‘Just sit and look outside of the window without talking. It sounds really dumb but it’s really nice and always leaves me feeling calm and peaceful.

‘Throughout the entire day people are interacting with me (which is fine) but it’s always nice to have alone quiet time. That, and watching Netflix.’

Another way to get productive at night is to learn a new skill, which is what Joanna Lin, a 29-year-old social media consultant, has been doing,

Joanna, who usually heads to bed between 2 and 3 am, told Self she likes to practice her French online on Duolingo for 30 minutes, before dedicating some time to writing as well as editing photos and videos.

Some night owls certainly get creative with how they fill their hours, such as the Reddit user who finds nighttime to be ‘the best time’ to go shopping at Walmart.

‘There are like two other people in the store, there’s close parking and no lines,’ the Reddit user wrote.

‘Employees are all restocking, so everything’s restocked and you can ask them where stuff is. Plus, they make a maze out of the store, which is fun.’