Productivity levels at Night versus in the Morning

Growing up I always thought that staying up late at night was the coolest thing. I use to get upset when I was sent to bed early and my older cousins were able to stay up as late as they wanted. The bizarre thing is that all throughout high school I would do all my homework throughout the day and go to bed early and now that I’m older I’ve noticed that I leave my homework for the evening and have more energy and am most productive. The question is are you more likely to be more productive later in the day or early in the morning or is it the other way around? My null hypothesis is that people are most productive later in the day and at night.

In an a article written by Nolan G Pope. He looks into how time of day improves productivity in schools; And by how schools should change the setup of their schedules take advantage of the time of day. What made his finds harder was that certain subjects were set up for a specific times of the day and that was out of his control. How he went about his study was that he collected test scores and GPA’s from high schools and middle schools in the Los Angeles school district. What he found was quiet interesting; he found that students levels of productive in the morning are higher than in the afternoon and that moving classes with high importance like math to the morning students performance is better.

So are we more productive during the day time than at night?

I still wasn’t convinced so I did more research and found another article that rises another point which is that people who are able to be productive later in the day versus earlier in the day have different brain structures. How is that possible? Being an early bird or a night owl can be Due to our genetic makeup. That same article states that there are physical differences in our brains. In a study done by scientist of Germany’s Aachen University observed a group of 59 men and women of different chronotypes. 16 were early birds 20 were in between and 23 were night owls . They found that night owls showed less white matter in the brain than the others. Night Owls are more likely to suffer from depression and also due to this the disrupt there normal cognitive functioning.

In conclusion my null hypothesis didn’t work. Productivity is higher early in the day than it is at night. our brains are more active during the day and staying up late at night our brains have less white matter and our cognitive functioning is impaired because of it. So its best to be productive during the day than late at night. This still isn’t a proven fact so scientist are still working on figuring out what time of day is best.





8 thoughts on “Productivity levels at Night versus in the Morning

  1. Meaghan Elizabeth Simone

    Great use and refeRences to things we had learned about in class. I feel as though this is a hard topic to research because while science can lean towards a certain option (in this case, morning people have better cognitive focus)a person’s preference can still get in the way of that (how you’re still productive at night despite what science says)

  2. Marissa Dorros

    I also feel like I’m more productive at night. Since you concluded that people are not actually more productive later in the day, I wondered if there is some other explanation for our increased productivity later rather than earlier. For example, I thought that it could be due to the lighting of the area in which an individual works. This would mean that night owls like us would be more productive when the lighting conditions are darker, and early risers would be more productive when working in brighter conditions. However, multiple studies such as this one conclude that brighter lighting actually increases productivity and efficiency.

  3. Monica Lynn Powell

    That was a really great blog post. You had sufficient evidence to back up your claims and it was really interesting! My null hypothesis would have been the same as yours. I wonder what time in the morning is most optimal for higher productivity? If it’s like 8 in the morning I don’t understand, but it if it’s like 10 than that makes more sense to me. In high school I was more productive in the evening but now in college I’m more productive in the early afternoon. I think it is really cool how our brains all are set up differently and that can cause some many differences between us. I wonder if when we get up in the mornings affects when we are the most productive? Here’s a website that helps you determine when you are most productive, hope it works for people who are interested !

  4. Corbin Kennedy Miller

    I find these findings to make a lot of sense. In the morning, you are coming off of sleep, so you are more refreshed than you would be at night when you’ve gone through the entire day and have used up all of your energy. Not only would the amount of energy go against being more productive at night, but you also often have much more to do at night, such as social outings and meetings. There’s also an interesting debate on wither you should work out in the morning or at night.

  5. Daniella Cappello

    Personally, I find myself to be most productive at night. In the morning all i’m thinking about is my post-class nap. I tend to set aside my work during the day and push it off until the last second which results in nighttime being the only time to do my work anyway. Knowing that I have to get it done before I go to bed is what keeps me motivated. I think we all focus better at different times throughout the day and I’m not too sure science itself has much to do with that. Of course you mentioned white matter and impaired cognitive functions, but perhaps people just feel motivated for different reasons at different times.

  6. Jessica Heckler

    I never have been able to classify myself as an early bird or night owl and have found that I am able to adjust to whatever schedule I need to be on. Or like right now, I can be both and early bird with an 8am calc class and a night owl finishing up all of the homework that I was not able to get done during the day. Personally, I find myself the most productive at night because I know I need to get it done whereas I know during the day I can continue to push the work off a little bit longer. I don’t think it has anything to do with my brain functioning better during a certain part of the day, I think its just due to my ways of procrastination.
    As for finding that night owls are more likely to be depressed, I think there might be some confounding variables that could also be causing this. For example, a lack of sleep could be what is causing the night owls to be depressed and have a disrupted cognitive function. If you are a night owl but are forced to wake up early for class or work, you are not getting the amount of sleep a person needs each night so this might be affecting their mental health. Although this is not really a proven scientific fact, I will start trying to be more productive during the day because it seems that my brain is working best then!

  7. cmt5658

    I feel like this is definitely a good topic to research more into. Being in college with everyone having different schedules, we find when we as individuals armor productive. For me, it is definitely at night, but I am altogether not a morning person. I think this is a great start but you could definitely go into more detail, especially about the different brain structures and how that could affect school times. If you want to look further into the topic, here is a list of 9 things comparing morning vs night people and the science that comes behind find it.

  8. Jillian Nicole Beitter

    I find this article so interesting! I can barely process anything in the morning in contrast to at night. I call myself a night owl! I feel like I get so much more done at later hours in the day for some reason. I wonder though if I had switched my sleeping schedule a little bit if waking up and processing information (by doing some type of schoolwork) would be possible? My friend on the other hand is the complete opposite and her situation goes along with your conclusion. She works so well in the morning, but as the day comes to an end, she slowly loses energy and can barely process anything. It gets to the point where there is no reason for her to stay up because her work is unproductive from that point on. Here’s an article that shows how night owls like me may not be as healthy as early risers who get work done when it’s bright out!

Leave a Reply