I love the wee hours of the morning. Some of my fondest memories are from my little apartment in Baltimore staying up until 2, 3, or 4 a.m. just drawing, reading or listening to music.

Summertime was my favorite. I lived right in the middle of Mt. Vernon’s night life: restaurants, bars, dance clubs. I’d throw open the windows and work to the background of music and laughter rising up from the streets. Sometimes I’d walk to the bookstore cafe and get a late night coffee just before they closed at midnight. The humidity in the air made the street lamps glow. It was magical.

Fifteen years later I am facing the fact that my favorite time of day just isn’t working for me anymore. I need my full eight hours of sleep. Count backward from when my daughter springs out of bed and the numbers just don’t work. One late night can throw off my whole schedule and start me on a downward spiral of over-caffeinated mornings and afternoon naps.

I know I need to get up before the rest of the house to get quality work done. I know the mornings can be magical in their own special way: the smell of freshly brewed coffee, sunrises, dew drops outside my window. I know I need to make a change. I just can’t let go of my nights.

What about you?

Do you get up when the rooster crows or are you a night owl, too? Have you ever changed things up? How did it work for you? Did it stick? Was it hard to do? Do you miss your old ways or love your new way of life? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments. I really want to know!


10 Responses to what’s the most creative time of your day?

  1. Laura says:

    I usually just lurk here, but this post got me thinking. My most productive time of day is the early morning. I can generally get more done between 6 and 8 in the morning than I can between 8 and 12. Recent insomnia/depression/poor quality matress (and therefore poor quality sleep) have forced my getting-up time later in the day, and I’m desperately missing my early starts. Walking or cycling into work while the streets are still empty, having a chance to put my brain together before my colleagues arrive, and being able to leave work earlier so that I can get home and get things done in the evenings all do me the world of good. I know that I _can_ get up earlier and that once I get into the swing of it, I’ll be fine, but finding that extra bit of energy to swing my feet out of bed when the alarm goes off is just too challenging right now.

    But reading this… I miss my early morning time so much. Maybe I just needed a reminder of that to prod me into action :)

  2. Shana says:

    Hi Julie K,

    Early morning! I can wake up at 5 and get writing, crafting or baking done before the sun is up. I sometimes wish I were more of a night owl, and I can be occasionally, but my body is geared toward mornings I find. Spring mornings are the best, when the sun comes up and the leaves on the trees are still new and very light green.

    Incidentally too, I notice your journey, MD -> NE in your about section is opposite me, I grew up in Omaha and have since moved to Baltimore for grad school! I am in the Charles Village area, but I enjoyed your description of Mt. Vernon at night.


  3. everyone I know considers me strange, because I am up often at 4am to sew, crochet, listen to music. I have no reason to get up then, my children are grown and my husband retired, but I am up at that time anyway — I like to be alone, and 4am is a lonely time of day, but I think it is there just for me! Even as a child, I often was up before my parents or brothers and often had my clothes on and outside sitting on the back steps watching wildlife — we lived on the edge of a small town and I regularly was visited by raccoons and rabbits, porcupines and foxes, deer and the first birds of the morning… Strangely, my middle years I worked as a bartender which meant 5pm to 2 or 3am was my day, but even then I was up til about 9am just after the kids went to school and then awake around 3pm to make dinner and head to work — my days were upside down for along time, I am most happy in the early mornings and most energetic, too

  4. Sarah M says:

    I have never been a night owl, except when forced, when I worked at B&N. Even then it took me so LONG to settle down, since I had coffee grounds allllll over me (that I’m convinced I had the effects of coffee with digesting any orally!) I wouldn’t go to bed until 1-2AM, and I was ALWAYS tired.
    I am much more of a morning person, and love the hour with S or by myself before I get the kids ready, though I am never able to sew much in those times (but my knitting takes off then :). I am mostly into sewing during naptime (12-3) or after they go to bed at 7. Other than those two times in my day, I just can’t do it!
    Sarah M

  5. Charity says:

    Funnily enough, I am totally a morning person! However, by the time we get the kids to bed, and clean up, and have some “grown up” time, it’s later than I would like, and I’m having the hardest time getting up early to have “my time”.

    Like Sarah M, my creative time right now is naptime, and I guard it carefully! :)

  6. Amy in ne says:

    MORNING!!! After 1pm I am worthless-even 2nd grade math is trying :) I stay up until 11:30 or 12 because I like the quiet “me” time and with a busy household I still get up at 0615.

    I used to think it was a weakness to nap in the afternoon but now I look forward to it. 15-30 minutes is enough to re-energize me for the rest of the afternoon/evening. I also find Pilates or Yoga in the afternoon gives me a boost to get me through.

    Hope you find a balance that works for you.

  7. Callipygian says:

    I like seeing the times people comment and how it corresponds to what they’ve said. Early morning is a good time for you, Shana at 6:12 a.m.? You don’t say…

    Night is my most creative time, I perk up around 9 p.m. I was always told that I’d be less nocturnal after childhood or that I’d adjust to the 8-5 office job schedule quickly. I’m 28 now and have been working in a cubicle for 5 years, and the alarm at 6:35 every morning is still the worst. Even with the early mornings I rarely turn out the light before midnight. Weekends I sleep until noon or 1:30 p.m.

  8. Colleen says:

    I wake up at 4AM most days. I get more done by 7am then I get done the rest of the day. I am in bed by 9 most nights but I am a zombie afer dinner. I love the silence of our house. The peace that is so lacking while I get kids to school, go to work etc.

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