6 Surprising Mental & Physical Benefits Of Staying Up Late
We all know how important sleep is, yet some of us can't help but to stay up and do things at night. Some people find they're more productive and creative during the night hours, and I have good news for those people: There are some surprising benefits of staying up late. Now of course if you stay up late and wake up early, neglecting sleep, these benefits might not make up for the various other ways you're hurting your health. But if you prefer to stay up late and wake up later, you don't have to feel totally guilty — you might be doing things right.
"There are a few benefits for staying up late and they are of course being more productive and more creative," says Dr. Sharad Paul over email. "The ability to stay up late is linked to adenosine activity in brain, and these are the same receptors that caffeine targets. Studies have shown that people with inherently more adenosine activity may 'naturally' be night owls.
If you're not currently a night owl, there's no reason to try to be one — there are plenty of benefits of being a morning person. But if you do thrive at 2am, you'll want to check out these six surprising benefits of staying up late.
1. More Intelligence
Prone to staying up late? You might be more intelligent. A study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences found that more intelligent children are more likely to go to bed late and wake up late on both weekdays and weekends. Although staying up late won't make you smarter, if you tend to do things into the wee hours of the night, you can go ahead and use that as an excuse why.
2. Increased Strength
Naturally staying up late all the time might even benefit your physical performance. Research from the University of Alberta found that while morning people's strength stays consistent throughout the day, night owls demonstrate peak strength in the evening. According to Olle Lagerquist, a Ph.D, co-author of the study, this could be the result of "increased motor cortex and spinal cord excitability in the evening," he said to CNN.
3. Ability To Come Up With Creative Solutions
There's a reason so many people enjoy working at night: It encourages creativity. A study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences found that night owls are more likely than early risers to come up with creative solutions to problems.
4. Increased Alertness
You would think that staying up late would make you have problems focusing, but as long as you get adequate amount of sleep, it can actually increase your alertness. A study published in the journal Science found that night owls generally outlast early birds in how long they could stay awake and mentally alert before becoming mentally fatigued
5. More Likely To Take Risks
This can be seen as a positive or a negative, but it all depends on how you spin it. Research from the University of Chicago found that night owls tend to be bigger risk takers. When it comes to something like gambling — not so great. When it comes to becoming an entrepreneur or starting something new, being a night owl can come in handy.
6. A More Relaxed Morning
Sleeping in has its perks. Although some research shows that night owls tend to have higher cortisol levels in general, they tend to have lower levels in the morning than those who wake up early, according to research from the University of Westminster.