Some of the greatest artists of all time are notorious for burning the midnight oil, and the latest research proves there just may be a method to their madness.
Researchers from the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan found that night owls are more likely to come up with creative solutions. Experts theorize that this might be due to “living outside the norm.”
“Being in a situation which diverges from conventional habit, nocturnal types often experience this situation, may encourage the development of a non-conventional spirit and of the ability to find alternative and original solutions,” says Professor Marina Giampietro, lead author of the study.
What’s more is that researchers aren’t entirely sure that people can control this type of behavior. Hans Van Dongen, associate research professor at the Sleep and Performance Research Center at Washington State University, believes that whether a person feels more energized at night is at least partly determined by genetics.
But regardless of being either a morning bird or a night owl, there are other reasons as to why artists should practice their craft at night. For one, when people are tired, their brains are less likely to filter out information. Basically, it rids people of their inhibitions, making them more likely to engage with new concepts.
Other hypotheses include people being more introspective at night. This is particularly true of people who spend their nights alone. That’s because the body is more alert to sounds, smells, and sensations during this time. Perhaps it’s because the darkness of night is often associated with the unknown, which can cause the imagination to run wild.
Of course, none of this has been proven yet, so it’s all just theory. But we’re curious to hear your thoughts! Tell us: do you find that you’re more creative at night?