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Everything to Learn About an Funny Chinese Terms 夜猫子 (Yèmāozi)

When the clock strikes 6 am, most of life wakes up. You’ll hear the birds chirping along with the hearty conversations of people having breakfast. The reverberating honks of cars driving through rush hours. The noise of people waiting in line for commute. During this time, most of the world is awake. However for some, these things signifies that it’s time to hit the mattress and sleep.

People around the globe are aware of the idea of an “early bird.” These people often rise early and sleep while the night is still young. On the other hand, not many are aware of the “night owl.” In China, we have a term for these types of people: 夜猫子 (Yèmāozi).

夜猫子 (Yèmāozi) translates directly to “owl.” The concept pertains to people who have nocturnal habits like an owl. As we are aware, owls are nocturnal animals. They thrive and hunt at night and sleep during the day. It’s the same way for the 夜猫子 (Yèmāozi). These people often sleep in during the day. They wake up late (often before noon or noon) and sleep late (sometimes just before dusk). It is imperative to remember that even though 夜猫子 (Yèmāozi)  has a circadian rhythm than most people, their productivity is unaffected.  

The concept is quite enthralling for a variety of reasons. It is engaging mainly due to its applicability in modern times. After all,  as we move towards modernization, the need to work around the clock is also increasing. The evolution of night owls is heavily dependent on our development as a civilization. That is why night owls play a critical role in our world today. They keep systems running even when the world is asleep. They maintain transnational connections in different time zones. They introduced an imperative role for continuous progression. However, their roles aren’t only limited to the workplace. Some people are just inherently night owls. They feel most productive at night. That is why they are known to study, work, and grind during the evenings. Usually, night owls stay awake past midnight. Some stay awake until just before or even after dusk. Interestingly, night owls tend to feel most energetic and productive during these hours.

Now, let us delve into the knowledge point of this concept.

The character “夜 (yè)”, the fourth tone, means night;

“猫 (māo)”, the first tone, means cat;

 And “子 (zi)” is used as a suffix here, so it is untoned.

To further master this topic, let us expound our knowledge base about it. This we shall explore the pros and cons of being night owls.

  1. 1. Merits of being a night owl 夜猫子 (Yèmāozi)
  1. (1) Productivity

夜猫子 (Yèmāozi) is inherently more productive than early birds. It does not mean that they are more superior. It merely pertains to their stamina. Early birds tend to tire out due to the outside stressors they encounter daily. On the other hand, night owls work during the evenings. During this time, the world is already asleep. Therefore they expend less energy dealing with outside stressors. Consequently, they inevitably convert this energy into productivity. 

  • (2) Creativity

While on the topic of “working with fewer distractions due to the sleeping world,” enhanced creativity is associated with being a night owl. At night, there are fewer diversions. That creates a bubble of mental sharpness due to the environment. It allows people to focus solely on their work without interruptions. 

  • (3) Peace 

Being a night owl is generally more peaceful than being an early bird. After all, during the evenings, there’s rarely traffic. Rush hours are non-existent. No crowds are fighting to commute to work. Not only are distractions less, but also everything at night flows freely. 

Demerits of being a night owl 夜猫子 (Yèmāozi)

  1. (1) Social life

Most of life occurs in the morning. That means being a night owl means abandoning most of your social life. There will be fewer hangouts with friends. Their night outs will be your work hours. It’s also generally harder to find an intimate relationship as a night owl. Scientists have proven that having different sleep patterns isn’t conducive to a happy relationship. That is why being a night owl is often associated with mental health issues, which we will explore further.

  • (2) Mental health

There are two different reasons why night owls are more susceptible to mental health issues than early birds. One reason is that most of the time, the sleeping cycle of night owls occurs in the morning. However, as we all know, mornings are not conducive to good sleep. After all, the world is awake. There will be numerous distractions from the environment that can impede sleep in the morning. That is why night owls are often sleep deprived. That often leads to mental health issues.

Another factor is a phenomenon they call ‘social jet lag.” It is the fatigue from the difference between their sleep and social schedule. If repeatedly experienced, the brain will have a lesser white matter which is associated with depression.

夜猫子 (Yèmāozi) thrive in the evening. They are the people of the night, the population that works while the rest of the world is asleep.

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