Whether they’re time-pressed on a project, have little other time to do their work, or simply want to code just one line more, many coders often find themselves awake and working into the early hours of morning. Ultimately, this practice does little good, as late-night productivity is rarely even close to the efficiency of daytime work, and such work can leave a person tired or muddle their sleep schedule. The harm done by late-night coding may not be immediately palpable, but here are a number of reasons why you should avoid it when working on a project.
You’ll Miss Sleeping Hours
Although this may seem fairly obvious, it can not be stressed enough that losing sleeping hours is catastrophic for productivity. Losing even an hour of sleep at night can seriously affect your daytime work and pace, especially in a profession such as coding which requires clear thought and speedy language processing. Without a full night’s sleep, most people will have issues with retaining focus, memorization, cognition in general, slow pace, and cooperation with coworkers as a result of tiredness and irritability. As coding generally requires tight focus, fluid cooperation, and extremely accurate input, any one of these symptoms has the potential to cause damage to a workday, in intensities ranging from small to extremely damaging.
Late-Night Work is Less Productive, and Less Reliable
Work done late in the night is, for most people, far less productive than that done in daytime. As the night drags on and your body and mind grow more tired, they will naturally slow down and prepare for the rest you are denying them. You’ll find that the amount of work done in an hour decreases sharply late at night, with the effects getting worse as time before bed drags on. But it’s not just quantity of work that decreases; coding done late at night is more often laced with bugs, poor formatting, and other markers of low quality. Notes become more scarce and less coherent, and in extreme cases you may wake up in the morning with little clue what you’ve done the night before.
Your Personal Life will Take a Hit
Regular late-night coding sessions will eventually end up impacting your personal life and relationships, as well. Most people simply do not stay up late, and will look to socialize and interact with you in mornings and afternoons. This may include friends, spouses, children, or anyone else close to you, and regular late-night coding sessions may drive a wedge between you. After all, who wants to hang out with someone who is constantly red-eyed, exhausted and consumed by work? Of course, if you have friends and family who share similar late-night habits this effect may be diminished, but chances are most of them wake up and go to sleep at reasonable hours.
Ultimately, late-night coding sessions can have a serious detrimental effect on productivity, quality of work, and your relationships in and out of the workplace. Do your best to cut short your coding sessions when the hour grows late, maintain a sleep schedule in line with the rest of society, and invest in a mattress from the best mattress brand so you’ll actually look forward to going to bed. In the end, instead of staying up a few hours and getting in that little bit of extra work, it’s probably better to just hit the sack and start the next day in a much better way.