The Night Owl

Which Type Are You?

You reach peak productivity after everyone else has gone to bed.

Role model:

Inventor Thomas Alva Edison, who once wrote that "most people overeat 100%, and oversleep 100%, because they like it. That extra 100% makes them unhealthy and inefficient."


Take a filament from Edison's bulb and start to use sleep (or lack thereof) strategically. In The 24-Hour Genius, attorney and author Eric Epstein recommends completely forgoing sleep several times a month. "There's a loss of efficiency when you have to stop work midstream," Epstein says. "With an all-nighter, you can com­press a whole phase of a project into a single work session."

How to be most effective on Twitter:

Scheduled tweets are your friend. Wait until more of your audience is awake.

Got 15 minutes to spare?

Take a nap! Insufficient overall sleep will make you less responsive and more easily distracted, says Duke–National University of Singapore cognitive neuroscientist Michael Chee.

Killer app combo:

Gmail extension Right Inbox lets you schedule emails for the next day. Buffer does the same for your social media updates. More apps for the Night Owl >>

[Illustration by Francesco Muzzi]

Add New Comment


  • plozar

    I'm a night owl. I didn't choose to be; I just am. I gravitate naturally towards going to bed around 1-2 AM and getting up at 9-10 AM. Unfortunately, most traditional jobs don't accommodate this, so I spent my working career chronically sleep-deprived.

  • whatgoeson

    Sometimes, I just can't sleep. The only real remedy for the situation, is to get up, and do something. One night a month going without sleep won't kill you, and it can help you reset your body clock, if you wait 'til an hour before your regular bedtime to crash.