The only way I got through college was by pulling all-nighters. And, in truth, it wasn't just because I was severely predisposed to procrastinate whenever a paper or test came around (even though, yes, I am, thank you for asking). Staying up late is just the best. End of story. But, if you really need some convincing, allow me to wax poetic about the adrenaline-boosting, mind-clearing powers of being awake while everyone else is sleeping.
Night Owl Win No.1: You'll Learn the Art of Spacewalking
You know how when you stay up really late and your body is super sleep-deprived, you start feeling delirious—but in a way that makes you think in interesting and funny ways? Well, that's what we call spacewalking. In my humble opinion, that state can produce some of the best creative ideas. Not only have I done my best writing while spacewalking, I've also concocted some of my greatest theories about relationships in my life. Sometimes they're helpful—like when I realize exactly why I start sabotaging some friendships at certain points—and sometimes they've led to a parting of ways, like when I realized why my best friend at the time was compulsively lying about every minute detail of her life. But ultimately, it was all for the best.
Night Owl Win No. 2: It's a Good Time for Exploring
Not only does the night force you to look inward (silence and darkness tend to lead to introspection), it also compels you to discover new things. Growing up, late-night Tumblr binges had a huge impact on who I became and what interests I was able to explore. Now, late-night Google sessions help me stay informed, whether I'm staying up to date on political happenings around the globe, or digging into strange cultural phenomenons (like the story behind Gay Talese's The Voyeur's Motel). And, yes, post-3 a.m. Wikipedia surfing has also brought me on some pretty interesting journeys, and have proven to be a constant source of party conversation material.
Night Owl Win No. 3: Science Says You'll Be Smarter *and* More Creative
There are countless studies that have linked later bedtimes and alarm clocks to intelligence and creativity. Take, for example, the study from Milan's Catholic University of the Sacred Heart which found that night owls are more inclined to find creative solutions to problems than early birds. Or, the study that University of Madrid conducted in 2013 that found that night people scored higher on inductive reasoning tests (which relate to general intelligence), even though early risers tended to get better grades in school.
"Night owls were able to stay more mentally alert and delay mental fatigue than early birds."
There are also other benefits to being a night person, like strength and the ability to focus. A study from the University of Liege in Belgium found that night owls were able to stay more mentally alert and delay mental fatigue than early birds. And according to a study from the University of Alberta, those who go to bed later have a burst of strength later in the day (the early risers had consistent strength levels throughout the day).
Night Owl Win No. 4: It's Better for Making Connections
But it's not just the solitude that's amazing about being a night person—there's an added layer when you hang out with friends in the wee hours. Everyone seems a lot less guarded and more free, which leads to the forging of deeper connections, and a better time overall. The day is for spending time with your friends, the night is for making new ones.
Sometime during our teenage years, we all stop getting up early and start lying in later. We only stop because, for some reason, the idea of being a morning person has historically been linked with our idea of success. My theory? If we could all wake up at 10 a.m. or later, we might all be better humans. I'll keep hitting snooze, thank you.
After-Dark Win No. 1:
Late nights require a swift caffeine kick, and antioxidant-rich matcha is a responsible go-to.
Matcha Starter Kit, $48, teavana.com.
After-Dark Win No. 2:
Nothing says "let's stay up all night" quite like a neon light.
One Hundred Emoji, $210, neonmfg.com.
After-Dark Win No. 3:
You know those books that force you to stay awake until you reach the end? Grab one and get going.
"The Luminaries" by Eleanor Catton, $18, mcnallyjackson.com.
After-Dark Win No. 4:
Get yourself some blinds that help block out the early morning sunlight, but still let a little in so you don't feel groggy when you actually do wake up.
Window Curtains Double in Perceptive Dream, $119, society6.com.
After-Dark Win No. 5:
Spring for pajamas that are so stylish and comfy you'll have even more incentive to sleep in.
Corita Short Sleeve Pajama Shirt, $158; Paloma Short, $78; both sleepyjones.com.