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Ever since I can remember, I have enjoyed staying up late and sleeping in. I am not a morning person, which has proven to be difficult in a school or work environment. There have been countless days where I stayed up way too late and paid the price the next day.

Thankfully, one of my roommates is a fan of early mornings, which helps to motivate me to break some bad habits. While reluctantly pulling myself from the comfort of my bed while the morning sun creeps through my window, my roommate told me to think about all of the things I could get done if I woke up just a little bit earlier.

However, I recently began to wonder how bad it was to be a night owl. Does it matter when we get something done if we still accomplish our goal?

Benefits of Staying Up Late

If you have the chance to make your schedule for work and activities, then I think you should take this opportunity and run with it. Throughout our busy lives, there is very little chance for us to make our schedules. Work and school tend to dictate when we are the most productive throughout our day.

Therefore, I think that it is valuable to choose when you want to get your necessary tasks done. If you do not have class or work early in the morning, then I do not think there is an issue with enjoying the process of working during the night. I have noticed that my best work happens when I allow myself to wait until I feel inspired or motivated.

If this burst of energy happens to take place late at night, then there should be no real issue with this, in my opinion. Many people say that they tend to feel more creative or intelligent in the late hours of the night. This creative burst is potentially due to the silence and isolation of the nighttime. At night, we can sit with our thoughts and enjoy the tranquility, which usually lets us explore new thought processes. For me, I find the nighttime relaxing and motivating, as it is easier to remove a lot of distractions when you are by yourself.

Negative Side of Staying Up Late

Although I choose to partake in late-night work sessions, I am well aware that this is not the healthiest lifestyle choice. According to a study in the journal “Chronobiology International,” people who tend to stay up late into the night are around 30% more likely than other people to have issues with high blood pressure. Along with concerns about higher blood pressure, there are also associated higher risks of diabetes. A lot of these studies assume people who stay up late tend to be more likely to eat late at night or do not exercise as often, which is not always the case.

Even if these concerns are not an issue for all-night owls, it is usually hard to get enough sleep if you are staying up so late. Although I may be able to sleep in later to make up for some of my lost hours of sleep, this is not always enough to make up for the night before. It is not realistic for most people to control the hours of their day, which makes sleep something that must be tightly controlled for many people.

Overall, I think that it is important to value your sleep to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Sleep has a large impact on how we feel on both a mental and physical level. However, I will probably not end my bad sleeping habits as a college student. During this period of life, I want to be able to utilize my free time to work when I feel the most capable.

I do not think that staying up and sleeping in always means that someone is lazy, which is a common misconception. As long as you do what you need to do, your sleep schedule can be a healthy balance between staying up late and getting enough hours to be healthy.

Minna is an English major at the University of Florida. She is a features writer for Her Campus UFL.
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