Bodyclock - Peak Times for Creativity

My mornings are a creative dead zone. As the day eases on my brain eases up and by late afternoon, providing the day hasn’t been mentally taxing through work etc, i’m in a better place. But easily my most creative time is very late evening and at night, typically around 1am-3am. Now, I will say that 90% of the time I am (like a fairly normal person) usually asleep at that time but occasionally i’m not; I have a period of feeling awake and refreshed and full of ideas.

Anyone else have this?


Very interesting question.

Each people has a laps of time in which he or she feels better (for me, it’s the evening), but has it an impact on creativity ? I’m not sure, but…

In cognitive searches (look on PubMed), there is a recurrent topic : is mind wandering improve or not creativity ? The answer tends toward “yes” (and as a downside, mind wandering seems also to be linked with depressive mood, which is logical in a way).

Personally I noticed than ideas come more easily with a wandering mind, maybe because in this state of mind your usual habits of thinking are loose (a good idea is often a paradoxical one).

So a similar mechanism may apply in your case : at 1-3 am, your mind is a little asleep, which allows strange ideas to pervade - and once you got it, you obviously want to explore it, so you suddenly felt very awaken (it happens sometimes to me, not often I admit).

But maybe I’m wrong and something mysterious else happens in your case ? (The visit of the idea provider of 1-3 am, for instance ? :innocent:)

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I suffer from “creative mostly in the evening/night”. My muse likes to wander in about 10pm as I’m supposed to be going to bed for my day job, crack open a beer and be like “Just wait till you hear these ideas I’ve got for you!” :expressionless:

It’s likely from working years in theater where everything starts juicing up at about 6pm for an 8pm performance, then coming home and being wired til 3am.


My daily routine (when not working) is basically doing nothing other than staring at my phone or the wall while sipping coffee for two hours. Then I generally ease into a TV/movie/game/comic for a while, usually mulling over my story or game engine in the back of my mind while I do so.

Sometimes if I get a really good idea, I’ll put whatever I’m doing on hold and work on that idea immediately. If that happens, usually my entire day becomes dedicated to that, and suddenly I’m like “What? It’s 4am? How?!”

But otherwise, my most creative time is about midnight when my girlfriend usually goes to bed. A complete coincidence, I assure you. cough

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For working on IF, anyway, I mostly seem to come on in the evening, leading to traditional sleep deprivation for essential activities like work-work. Times when ‘I’m flying’ seem to happen more in the eve, but it’s not that they can never happen in the day. They ain’t happening right now though (midday of Good Friday :slight_smile: ). At times like this, I turn to backlogged drudgy mechanical programming on my project, or catch up on bug to-do lists. These activities tend to require less of the flying.



mah, I live in southern Italy (= hot, dry summers), so that I tend to be more creative during the fresh summer evening & night (hence my disappointment with the “sekrit weapon” of the HVAC, but perhaps I have underestimated the dev time needed for an IF Comp-grade work…) but in general the “hack fluids” (caffeine & theophylline) works well also with IF development. (perhaps a bit too much, because I oftend ended spending time around code optimisation…)

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.

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It seems this is a bit rarer, but I’m strongly more creative in the morning, right after getting up. Waking up at around 5am seems to be the ideal time to take advantage of my creative energy until around 10am, and then at about 4pm I always experience I huge dip in productivity. I usually can’t focus on anything, creative or not, after that.


This is a great question @Adam_S.

I am the same as @Toadheart, early mornings are a creative frenzy for me. In my case I suspect it is a behavior learned out of necessity:

My day job involves a lot of logical thinking and problem solving (programming), by the end of the day I find it difficult to keep my focus. I really wanted to keep working on my personal projects, so I would get up early to make the time for them.

This became a habit, after doing this 2 to 4 days a week (roughly) for a period no less than 15 years. I did the same this morning in fact, to work on a new IF story - although it’s Sunday I have no reason to get up early, the habit drives me.